Nectar's + hope all is well present:
Kal Marks at nectar's
with clever girls, Sleeping in
DATE: Wednesday, September 26TH
VENUE: nectar's [188 Main St, Burlington, VT 05401]
TICKETS: 21+ free // $18+ $5
Universal Care is cathartic. Kal Marks’ are finding a release... a crushing, beautiful, absorbing release, an exploration of spirit and emotion in the hardest of times. Their latest LP, Universal Care, due out February 23rd via Exploding In Sound Records, finds the Boston trio at their most dynamic, seeping with vivid colors and sonic experimentation. Its a new approach for the band, one that began on shaky ground, an uncertainty that lead the band to create an album both brilliant and challenging. Universal Care is restless, drawing on personal hardship and these tumultuous times, taking life as it comes. The trio of Carl Shane (guitar, vocals), Michael Geacone (bass) and Alex Audette (drums), have created a record full of sonic risks and rewards, thick textures, skin crawling sludge, and hazy pop. Through unexpected twists and turns, the band capture a range of honest emotions and struggles without boundaries. Crushing distortion, atmospheric drifts, shifting rhythms, and warm acoustics all swirl together in unison. There’s a freedom in their agitation. A welcoming catharsis.
Formed as a solo project over a decade ago, the band has been evolving ever since, weathering the darkness with a sense of humor and one of Boston’s most explosive live shows. Having released two critically praised albums, Life Is Murder (2013) and Life Is Alright, Everybody Dies (2015), Universal Care is a step forward, a brilliant new record that finds the band darting between their most accessible and chaotic moments with natural grace and fury. They’ve spent the past six years playing throughout the country, decimating one audience at a time, sharing the stage with everyone from Big Business and Pile to And The Kids and Florist.
Clever Girls is a band formed in and based out of Burlington, Vermont. Robert Slater’s deft ability to interpret rhythm alongside bassist, Tobias Sullivan are invaluable, while Diane Jean’s soulful voice and raw, personal songwriting abilities combined with Holt’s effortless guitar work have created a recipe for what Redline Roots have called a “delicate balance” between soft and vulnerable, or a rock and roll raucous. On March 7th, 2017, they released their debut EP which you can stream exclusively on Bandcamp. The record has been described as heartbreaking; a "grungy collection of attitude and emotion that hits hard…but hits so damn good.
To some, Vermont represents an idyllic portrait of a rustic haven, a slice of life that remains unassuming and evergreen. The faces at the colleges change, the canvases of foliage are painted over, and life continues uninhibited. For others, it is this exact cycle that feeds their ennui, planting seeds of desire—a desire for change.
Though lifelong natives of the Green Mountain State, it wasn’t until 2014 that Mason Dixon and Jordan Stocker met. Working at a music store, they provided each other with the spark needed to initiate the change they both so desired. They began playing music together—loudly, of course—as a two-piece, with Dixon on guitar and Stocker on drums. It wasn’t long before the noise attracted the attention of others, a rotating cast of old friends and new acquaintances, all with an affinity for loud, fuzzed-out, and dreamy shoegaze-tinged rock n’ roll. Within a year, the sleepy ep was finished.
Though brief, this collection of four songs represented the roar of a group of twenty-somethings who sought to make sense of the doldrums of day-to-day life. Their musical influences were apparent, sewn into the DNA of the three guitars that guided the band at the time. It was the culmination of years of listening to slacker rock anthems, drowning in sound, and owning one too many dirt pedals: a fever dream combining the riffs of Dinosaur Jr., the energy of the Smashing Pumpkins, and the dynamics of Hum.
In the two years following, the band faced the dichotomy between slumping through post-collegiate boredom and the yearning to make something more for themselves. During this time, the faces around Dixon and Stocker continued to change, ultimately settling into the band’s current line-up: Dixon (guitar/vocals), Rob Maynard (bass), JT Day (guitar), and Stocker (drums). As the friendship between the quartet blossomed, they helped each other not only to grow as musicians, but to also grow as people, helping one another endure the challenges of depression, anxiety, and loss.
This bond is exemplified in their latest release, 2017’s let you in, which served not only as the band’s debut LP but as a sonic testament to their growth. There is a maturity and nuance to their sound, with a greater emphasis on subtle, swirling textures that accent the individual instruments and melodies. The band has realized they don’t need to be loud to be heard, and the intimacy of their relationship with one another is reflected in their willingness to explore new sonic territories, to speak to one another, and to speak to the listener—only to promptly throttle themselves back into a lush sea of thick chords and booming drums.
They’re still kind of loud, of course.
Sleeping In is a band whose music tosses and turns, each layer wrapping itself around the listener, recalling such familiar comforts as a warm blanket to embrace, a soft bed to sink into, and memories of twilight hours spent awake, in the melancholy between thought and dream, uncertain of what comes next, but happy to be along for the ride.