Opening the Listening Party this week is newish local act King Tut. The duo of Mark Boyd and Drew Veres claim to be in the “experimental psychedelic rock” vein, but there’s actually a lot more going on in their songs than the weird noodling you might expect from that description. Their range goes from bittersweet acoustic folk on songs like “Hello Mariana” to slightly ambient on “Early Macintosh.” They bring it all together on “What You’re After,” which is our suggested starting track.
Next, we have Secret Lives of the Freemasons, one of the handful of local rock acts to find success on the national level. Although the majority of group’s work has been in the “emocore” or “screamo” subgenre of metal (or punk, depending on who you ask), demos from their upcoming concept album The Weekend Warriors show that the group’s sound—and localist Brien Worsham’s voice—has matured into something much more complex. We suggest starting with “Mascara.”
And lastly, we have local ska/punk/jam/funk/hip-hop group STRUT. Stylistically speaking, the group hasn’t changed much since their early days performing jammy, ska-inspired funk for the Emerald Lounge set; but what they lack in innovation, they make up for in sheer style. In other words, they’ve become really good at making extremely groovy songs. We suggest starting with “Before You Left.” (Or, if you’re feeling more like an upbeat ska-inspired song, “Wagon Wheel.”)
Now, it’s your turn. Tell us your thoughts on these groups by posting into the comment fields below. This is your chance to be the music reviewer, so praise and pan as you see fit.
— Steve Shanafelt, A&E editor