Thursday, July 7, 2011
Like i said last night, i don't have much confidence in my ability to turn people in my hometown on to new bands, but it doesn't hurt to try, especially when a band like Memory Map is worth the effort.
It's amusing that their album is named Holiday Band, since their show at Y-Not III took place on Memorial Day. It breaks down like this: one of their guitar players, one Michael Bridavsky (the blue one), is an old Bloomington, IN pal whose other band, the mathy, crazy, currently-on-hiatus Push-Pull, has done time on stage with the HiFi. Dixie hooked his new outfit, Memory Map, up with a show as we were too busy planning our own out-of-town hijinks for that weekend. However, we were back from our lower-Midwest swing just in time to hang out, grill out, and rock out with what turned out to be a brain-sizzling blend of alt-country flair and post-punk drive.
Memory Map's lineup is three guitars and drums, with one of the guitarists (Mike, i think) running some signal through some bass processing to get the low end. The triple-guitar work results in some busy-ass intricate, cascading melody lines that interweave and harmonize in ways that would knock Duane Allman on his ass. Combine with equally harmonized vocal melodies and (the green one) Josh Morrow's driving, thumping drums (which are actually held in check compared to his dazzlingly confounding rhythms in his other band, the ridiculous-in-a-good-way Slutbanger), and the alchemical rock cauldron spits out a band that would fit seamlessly with any of the alt-country bands that NPR constantly creams its collective trousers over, yet would knock all those bands on their asses with a quickness.
For all the yelling i do about the oversaturation of alt-country in the public indie consciousness, when it's done right, it's hard to fuck with. And while i wouldn't call Memory Map an alt-country band, they provide enough of those flavors to sucker people in while also delivering the hard-rocking goods. Since that Y-Not III show, during which i spent equal time shaking my head in disbelief and in "don't stop rockin!" affirmation, i've probably listened to Holiday Band about fifty times. The month immediately after Memorial Day saw me spinning it twice a day minimum, the vocal lines of "Park Bench" and "Big City" an inescapably hypnotic mental trigger commanding MORE SPINS.
You can stream all of Holiday Band on Bandcamp. Check it out--if this record ever got into the right hands at NPR, or into the face of Ryan over at Muzzle of Bees, this shit would take off and they'd be on their way to ten buck shows at Turner Hall. In the meantime, they'll have to be satisfied with me raving about them, and hopefully you.
Check out "Big City" right here: