By Alex Kantarelis
Central MA has already proven to be a breeding ground for hardcore bands, and now Gator King are proudly joining the scene, bringing old school sound and DIY mentality the way that hardcore bands are supposed to. They are not trying to be the next Godsmack or the next anyone, for that matter. They’re Gator King, and it’s obvious that they are hardcore fans and would fit in a lot better at a basement show with 75 moshing maniacs than they would on a big stage with a barrier. We are lucky to have bands like these guys in Worcester.
The 4 piece got their start in December of 2010 and quickly began playing shows before releasing a demo called Decisions. Unlike most hardcore bands who spend way too long waiting around talking about someday releasing a full length, the guys hit Perry Studios (www.perry-studio.com) in Worcester to record and self release their debut album called Gator King I. The 11 song album is out on their DIY label Mass Grave Records and is available on CD and (my personal favorite format) cassette.
Their sound is definitely old school hardcore, but there are some occasional nods to some thrash metal and old Metallica. They mix in breakdowns and sing alongs with a guitar solo here and there to keep things fresh. Describing their sound, vocalist Steve Zeveska said, “If we had a sticker on the shrink wrap of the CD saying ‘For fans of…,’ I’d probably put ‘80s Metallica, Terror, Minor Threat, and Integrity.’” Interesting combination of bands, but Gator King pulls it off.
Kudos to Gator King for not limiting themselves to just the Worcester scene. They recently hit the road in support of their album, touring the East Coast and Midwest. “The tour was great, we made a lot of connections and definitely will return to all the towns we played,” Zeveska said. They plan to continue touring and hope to have a new EP out by late 2012 or early 2013.
By Jennifer Russo
There is something refreshing about a band that takes on the challenge of not only playing music, but approaching music as something to be experimented with and tested. GrayWolf is one of those bands I can imagine working out of a musical science lab with Albert Einstein wigs on and shouting out “Eureka!” when they find that “just right” thing they were seeking. They are the kind of artists I could picture in a musical episode of the hit Food Network show “Chopped” where they are each given a mystery basket with some instruments, a microphone and some string cheese and are asked to make something unique and interesting out of it that sounds good to the judges and looks pretty on a plate.
The sound they produce makes you want to sit back, close your eyes and have a beer with your feet up ~ you imagine yourself floating away into the land of Reverb, with hazy-sounding jazz tones that circulate throughout the songs. The music is soul-baring for both the artist and the listener and the lyrics are poetic and relatable to almost anyone. The sound is smoky and sometimes hypnotic and has a bizarre quality to it that is difficult to define other than saying it gives the band a style all their own.
With the soulful and moody influences of Mazzy Star, the somewhat gothy and determined vibe borrowed from bands like Type-O Negative, and an overlay of trippy Doors-sounding introspection, GrayWolf has brought new life to a style of music that has typically faded in and out throughout the years, like adding a brightly colored scarf to the classic musical outfit and starting a whole new trend.
GrayWolf is really something that you should experience at a live show, so be sure to check their schedule and catch them locally ~ also check them out and ‘like’ them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GrayWolfMusic.
By Jennifer Russo
I first met Scott Damgaard years ago at a little place called the Chicken Bone (now simply called The Bone) in Framingham. I was having my usual Vodka & Cranberry and hanging out with some old friends ~ and then out of the corner of my eye I see a guy with curly long hair making his way to the little stage. He is the live track to whatever Karaoke song you want to sing. Immediately I am drawn in ~ First because I secretly love karaoke, second because he has an acoustic guitar flung over his shoulder and third, because he also has something else…swagger.
What astounded me was that the man could sing pretty much everything. From Buffett to Hendrix, from Pink Floyd to Green Day, from The Beatles to The Indigo Girls ~ he has it covered. Additionally, he plays a lot of original songs, including my personal favorites, “Jesus was a Hippie” and “On Top of All That (She’s Got a Great Ass)”. He takes the stage with a winning smile and an all heart approach to making music a living, breathing thing. His charisma and charm make everyone feel instantly comfortable and like they have known him in a past life and it’s obvious that Scott is right at home up there onstage; it is where he is destined to be. He doesn’t have to try ~ it’s simply in his nature.
Scott, who hails originally from Milwaukee, has played solo shows all over New England since he moved to MA in 1988 ~ and he’s been a member of several bands, including Stained Glass Eye and The WayOutz. He has a few CDs out for purchase including his latest, appropriately titled Scott Damgaard’s Second Album.
Scott is always looking for more opportunities to share his music. His motto is “Have Guitar, Will Trave,” so if you are looking for someone to play at your venue, cookout, wedding…whatever…definitely drop him a line. His music fits every scenario and audience.
See Scott play beginning at 10pm every Thursday at Allgos on Shrewsbury St in Worcester ~ and if you happen to be up in Maine this summer, he plays regularly at Hooligan’s Landing on Old Orchard Beach. For a full show schedule and to find out more about Scott, visit his official website: www.scottdamgaard.com.
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