The Boston music scene is undergoing a radical transformation, and there is an almost tangible energy building as the scene struggles to redefine itself. In the process, some of the most creative, genre-bending bands this town has ever produced are starting to emerge.
The most innovative of these, the band that best embodies Boston's changing musical dynamic, is Lockgroove.
One listen to Lockgroove's debut, the six-song EP "Rewired" on Krave Records, and it's clear that twin brothers Martin (drums) and Ryan Rex (vocals, guitar), keyboardist Daniel Finn, bassist Dave Goodman and guitarist Adam Brilla have chosen the perfect moniker for their trance-inducing sounds. The music builds and releases tension with subtle, dynamic shifts, or it literally locks into a hypnotic groove, then breaks free in a noisy, cathartic rush. In less capable or less daring hands, such sonic panoramas might sound pretentious or contrived. With Lockgroove, they sound completely natural.
Initially, the CD was intended as a demo to garner more shows. However, once recording began, "Rewired" took on a life of its own, growing from two or three tracks to six. The first track, "Take It Away," opens quietly, but the acoustic guitar strumming quickly gives way to sonic bombast, complete with sensuous, tribal drum beats and distorted guitar squalls. "Sundown" releases the throttle a little, its repetitive bass riff giving the ear a lingering aural anchor that has its roots in Velvet Underground's "Foggy Notion."
In keeping with the structural shifts and sonic permutations, Ryan's vocals have an almost chameleon-like quality to them, varying from the breathy enunciations of "Sundown" to the Anglo inflections of "So Small" (the closest "Rewired" comes to a pure pop song). And, in the eight-minute-long epic "Dragonfly," it is almost impossible to tell where his raspy scream ends and the guitar feedback begins.
While Lockgroove's music evokes comparisons to seminal artists like the Velvet Underground, Sonic Youth and Glenn Branca and to more modern incarnations like Spiritualized, Spacemen 3 and Chavez, the band is never imitative or derivative. Lockgroove is quite simply a rock band, albeit one that pushes the musical envelope with jazz-influenced jams and filters its vision through a neo-psychedelic lens. This is challenging music that works within conventional pop/rock constraints to create something totally unique and powerful. If "Rewired" is any indication, the Boston music scene is once again on the verge of greatness.
Copyright 1998 Lisa M.