By LIZ PELLY | January 4, 2012
MYSTIC CRYSTAL REVELATION The Age of Aquarius dawned again at O’Brien’s on New Year’s Eve.
Allston never felt more promwave than Saturday night at O'Brien's Pub, as the Earthquake Party, Fagettes, and the New Highway Hymnal rang in 2012 on a stage set with twinkling lights, prismacolor streamers, and a homemade "Age of Aquarius" banner. There was high-energy acid rock, twangy ramshackle punk, and fuck-it-all noise pop. There was a midnight champagne toast that probably set everyone further over the edge, and there was dancing to post-punk and disco. (Full disclosure: I was DJing, y'all!) Oh, and one of the Fagettes jumped out of a giant multi-colored cardboard birthday cake.
Even in a boozy New Year's haze, it'd be hard to forget the New Highway Hymnal's explosive opening set, especially first song "More" and forthcoming single "Blackened Hands." Both balanced NHH's punky, youthful exuberance with sophisticated neo-psych temperance, as the band hunched over their instruments for noisy, long-burning jams.
The Fagettes raged forward with high-energy songs from Fagettes, Vol. 1 and Fagettes, Vol. 2 — some of the best '60s-inspired garage pop to come out of Allston this year — before a performance wherein their front-lady, Melanie, popped out of the aforementioned cake, only to be followed by Earthquake Party's Justin Lally jumping in. As always, EP reaffirmed themselves as one of the best bands going in Boston right now, with unbridled punk energy and an unmatched noise-pop sensibility. Standouts were "Pretty Little Hand," the hookiest track off their Vs. Pizza cassette, and a sweet cover of Black Tambourine's "Throw Aggi off a Bridge."
The distorted guitar riffs and feedback-heavy instrumentals weren't the only fuzzy elements recollected the next day. "I remember the New Highway Hymnal being very young and enthusiastic," recalled Fagettes front dude Ryan Major. "I remember yelling at Nick Curran." Counters You Can Be a Wesley bassist (and Phoenix contributor) Curran: "I remember Ryan Major harshing my promvibes."
On several occasions one bouncer had to reprimand two Earthquake Party fans for "offensively sexual and very dangerous dancing." An effing shit show it was, but whatever forever y'all, that's what promwave is all about.
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