The Rumble, Boston's 28th annual rock n roll catfight, never fails to bring out the best and worst of the local music scene. It's sort of like American Idol for poor, ugly people. This year's edition comes to a close tonight. If you're reading this, you probably know a finalist, a judge, or someone who's rooting for one of these bands.
Pros: Super-slick, radio-ready sound. Early-Weezer power chord crunch. Conventional major-key harmonies. Heart-melting love lyrics.
Cons: Super-slick, radio-ready sound. Early-Weezer power chord crunch. Conventional major-key harmonies. Heart-melting love lyrics.
2. The Rudds
Pros: Expertly-crafted meta-rock tunes. Tasteful Cheap Trick fetishism. Tony Goddess’s subtly amazing bass playing. J-Po and his scarf.
Cons: ’70s cock-rock obsession (not in line with BCN’s 90s cock-rock obsession). The Brett Rosenberg Guitar Solo Face.
3. The Campaign for Real-Time
Pros: Seriously kinetic live show, replete with hip-hop hype-mannishness, Princely sexiness, and sunglasses. Wildly excellent multi-part vocal harmonies. Impossibly well-synched connection between samplers and humans.
Cons: Sorta-funny, wholly unnecessary futuristic gimmick. Glowsticks. Arrogance. (At the end of what was, admittedly, a jaw-dropping semi-finals set, the band's keyboardist left the stage by snottily predicting victory; minutes later, Scamper were declared the winners, and C4RT had to be rescued from defeat by being named the wild-card entry.)
It’s anybody’s battle, especially since the outcome is decided by five fallible human judges, but if we had to make a wager, we’d put our money on the Campaign for Real-Time. But regardless, whenever there’s mad loot at stake, bands come to play, so the show is sure to be a great one. And believe it or not, this year’s guest band, Taylor Hawkins & the Coattail Riders, don’t suck as much as you've already decided Dave Grohl's drummer's band must suck.
-- Will Spitz