By Sanjeev Selvarajah
Four Point Restraints held a CD release party at the Davis Square Theatre on Elm Street and played smack dab in between Giantist and Dave Crespo’s After Party. A quote from the Restraints read, “EPIC. Thanks so much everyone for making our EP release so damn fun!” Will Barry, lead guitarist of The Restraints, confessed early on that he just hoped everybody would have a good time. Dave Crespo’s reaction captures the weight of the night and the sheer volume of people that showed up in spite of the Celtics game, “Saturday’s show was a staple in the fold of a new book of rock n’ roll in Davis Square. Now with three awesome venues in Davis the area is becoming the new Central Square.”
Bill Fields, who was manning EP sales for The Restraints said that the new album was “Full-bodied. Almost like a fine wine. It can grab hold of you. It can possess you. It can bring you to a good place.”
For some time now Somerville has been living up to its credentials as a place to go to for enduring and innovative new music acts. When talking about eclectic lineups that prevail in something as simple as Porchfest, Squallie, of the band Old Edison, highlighted specific wonders he witnessed at this year’s Porchfest, which he played in: “This year I had heard brass instruments playing the top 40 hits of the last year.” Squallie had grabbed a copy of the Four Point Restraints EP and said, “I’m kind of waiting to go home and listen to it.”
The sound is more adult due to the grown-up lyricism, waxing poetic, on convenience and disguised blessings, typified especially as early as the first song on the tracklist, What’s Another Year? The valuable cues developed by the luxurious production value on the debut EP, Mercy, is outstanding, even though the fact that one song, Let the Ship Sink is best heard live.The rampant ruckus runs amok, as wrapped with rage lead guitarist Will Barry and bassist Cat Verlicco clash in a pseudo-European tongue-in-cheek fascist tirade. Indeed, another year does not come without biting sarcasm at the hands of this crew.
The Restraints have thus far left their youthful rock rambunctiousness with early comparisons to Visual Audio Sensory Theatre and The Pixies and graduated to the intellectual rhetoric and reach of richly scoped performance-art such as Velvet Underground and early Floyd. However, there’s still a little bit of Morrison and the Doors in lead singer Evan Gadowski’s expletives and threats. In any case, the fostering of instrumental and vocal relationships shine through even in the recordings. The scale of delving into an English Literature professor’s whims with Flowers of Evil, and touching down on the awesome power of a sailor’s fists with Dead Reckoning is a crevasse that this popular band easily traverses. “There needs to be more bands doing that,” says Squallie, referencing the tradition of intellectual impresarios such as the Velvet Underground.
Joel Simches of Watch City Studios expertly produced this segue of the Four Point Restraints. Evan Gadowski doesn’t hide anything about Simches contribution, “Over three long days Joel pushed us to our creative limits, demanding the very best of us and never moving on until perfection was attained. In a business dominated by profit-seeking it’s rare to find someone like Joel who involves himself in his projects with as much passion as the artists themselves.” Joel had initially invited them to perform on the radio show he’s produced for the last decade, WMFO’s On the Town with Mikey Dee. “A few months later they invited me to produce their album. I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out,” says Simches.
Giantist played an amazing set at this past Saturday’s Four Point Restraints EP Release Party. The lead singer, Sean Foley, had been playing in Baptist Churches in his youth, even though he was a confirmed Roman Catholic.
“I believe there is something,” says Sean Foley, lead singer of the Giantist in regards to the spiritual tinge of his song Well-Water. The revealing rock hymnal challenges the Samaritan woman at the North African well, just as Jesus did in the New Testament passage. So The Restraints would have us believe that there are caste-systems in ideals if not in blood. Dave Crespo might want to claim territory as the distinguishing factor. In that case, Giantist might introduce the two concepts as a natural and evolutionary outgrowth of the older ethnic connotation – lines drawn – only waiting devastation.
The song Well-Water alludes to an instant in the New Testament when a Samaritan woman, native to the lands surrounding Israel and Palestine, refuses Christ a drink of water at a public well. She eventually gives in after he has made his presence known. But the lines that were initially drawn that day made Foley think, in the here-and-now, about some of the rigid religious differences that issue out of human emotion; the stark reality is that a well such as that one was made possible because of natural provisions.
“I believe that the passage symbolizes unity in humanity. Though our faith may be vastly different, I believe that deep down inside every sane human being there is a need for internal peace. With internal peace, I believe that we can all strive to live more fulfilling lives. Life without discrimination, pessimistic views on issues that you might otherwise be very optimistic about and whatnot,” says Foley.
The band Giantist is a unique one, comprised of a saxophonist, Pat Lydon, and amazing backup vocals thanks to Emily Koo. Sean’s “harshness” ramps up and wonderfully contrasts with Emily. “She makes melodies where my harshness couldn’t,” says Foley. The band recently released a five song EP this past December and are always interested in getting new visits to their Facebook page. They’ll be playing again in Somerville and Cambridge in August. Until then, also check out their latest tunes at http://soundcloud.com/giantist/sets/indigo, the debut EP titled Indigo.