Never Got Caught, Mess with the Bull + Phantom Glue, March 14, at O’Brien’s Pub
In the late '90s, Boston (and by extension northern New England) experienced a rock renaissance. Every brand of heavy you can imagine was colliding to forge new alloys: Sam Black Church's manic thrash, retro fuzz-rockers Roadsaw, and self-proclaimed "Kings of Pummelcore" Slughog roamed the Northeast, destroying all challengers. Some bands, like Tree and New Hampshire's Scissorfight, stood out by surviving a minefield of indie-label collapses and a plague of clubs abandoning live rock for cover bands and DJs.
All of the above save Roadsaw have since ceased operations. Following Scissorfight's breakup in 2006, guitarist Jay Fortin and bassist Paul Jarvis teamed with ex-Lamont front man Pete Knipfing to form Mess with the Bull (as in the old adage "...you get the horns.") Blending the sounds of both former bands, MWTB grind out music that exists in the center of a Slayer-AC/DC-ZZ Top Venn diagram, with outlaw lyrics straight out of a Sonny Barger memoir.
Never Got Caught are the brainchild of brothers and former Tree members Bill and Bryan Hinkley. Unlike Mess with the Bull, NGC's songs are a radical departure from Tree's stripped-down hardcore fury. Still intact are Bryan's muscular guitar riffs and Bill's jazz-infused drum grooves, but that's where similarities end. Blues, jazz, metal, classic rock, punk, and a flair for the experimental all go into the blender to form the seductive, intoxicating, devastating cocktail that is Never Got Caught.
Opening band Phantom Glue set the tone with their own brand of high-gain sludge metal, though the vocals wound up buried in their avalanche of distortion. They'll be at Geno's with dronecore heroes Ocean on March 26; Never Got Caught are performing with local favorites Dead Season at Port City Music Hall on March 27. Ring in your spring with some top-shelf Boston rock.
: Live Reviews
, ZZ Top, Jay Fortin, Paul Jarvis, More