A couple weeks back, yours truly once again found himself at Charlie’s Kitchen, the burger-joint and part-time no frills punk rock venue nestled just off the heart of Cambridge’s Harvard Square. The venue stacks the tables into the corner on Monday nights, fires up the PA system, and hosts local and national touring acts, and this particular Monday night featured hometown heroes Rebuilder headlining a bill that also included their Seattle-based BFFs Dead Bars, Oakland, California’s Pity Party, with brand-spankin’-new locals Weathered Friends kicking things off. It was another example of the kind of awesome and diverse bills that should get more and more people interested in keeping the scene moving forward.
Weathered Friends are a local three-piece that were making their public debut on this fine evening. They’r enew enough that, well, hold off on Googling them unless you’re overly interested in learning “how to cope with a fair-weather friend” or the wholesome craft projects of a delightful Kalamazoo woman (that’s not a euphemism). Still obviously finding their way as a band, they excel at a sort of angular post-hardcore sound that was reminiscent of Cave In’s earlier work. I like them, and hope they at least make a Facebook page for me to direct you too. Hint hint.
Pity Party were next out of the chute. The event marked roughly the halfway point in the band’s Herculean fifty-nine day cross-country tour, and though vocalist/guitarist Sarah Levy was dealing with a pretty gnarly case of strep throat (don’t worry, she wasn’t contagious), that left her voice shredded, which added an extra layer of urgency to the vocals as the self-proclaimed sadboys still managed to bulldoze their way through their half-hour slot.
So Dead Bars were next. Rebuilder’s Sal Medrano has been bestowing the virtues of their live show to me for some time now, and for good reason. When Dying Scene’s own Carson Winter recently saw them down at Fest in Gainesville, he wrote that their “live show is like living out a daydream, complete with guitar melodies and singalongs.” Sal and Carson are to be rewarded for their insight; Dead Bars absolutely slay live. It’s a cathartic, frantic good time of a set, and I get the sense that their upcoming Jay Maas-produced A-F Records debut full-length is going to slingshot them to at least the Iron Chick level of revelry. Stay tuned for that.
Finally…what can I say about Rebuilder that I haven’t said in the other 168 posts I’ve written about them? I’m not sure, to be honest. They’re the best. They’re authentic. They play their asses off every set and seem to love doing so. The “core four” lineup (I just coined that…patent pending) is one of my favorites around, but the addition of keys (whether it was Rick or more recently Patrick or most recently Leo) adds a few sonic layers of depth that other bands can’t quite match (even if I can never seem to adequately photograph that particular fifth of the band). I want to quit my job and go on tour with Rebuilder…assuming they all quit their jobs too.
Head below for our full photo rundown from the evening!