Who’s to say what makes a Christmas song stick? What combination of sleigh bells, nostalgia, and piety for Jesus or Santa gets a recording December airplay at gas stations and pharmacies? Whatever the formula, Civic don’t seem worried about it. Their jaunty and picture-popferct arrangement is the backdrop to some straight-up Christmas pessimism. Eric Bolton, Wayne Whitaker, and Harrison Seiler–AKA the house band at The Soul Shop studio–teamed up with singer/guitarist Dana Osterling to make Civic. You hear their playing crop up quite a bit in Boston bands, but the performance here bears the closest resemble to last year’s Soul Shop Christmas album. This tune was recorded by Stephen Konrads who fronts Eternals.
“Paper Snowflakes” would make my Christmas party playlist, if I was the sort of guy who threw parties. Osterling quotes and reworks “Deck the Halls,” then Bolton does the same on his fifties-esque, clean electric solo. The song is cute, but heartfelt. The layers of background oo’s really makes me feel all warm and frosty.
One of our own, Ronnica Rogers, fronts the tuneful punk outfit, Mint Green. The opening guitar line in “Curtains” recalls the writing of slocore bands like Bedhead. The song then takes off at a pop-punk clip at the first chorus.
Ronnica has talent beyond her years as a singer and songwriter. She’s also the hardworking booker behind our chill-and-make-crafts Sparks at The Armory acoustic series. We can’t wait to see where she takes both projects.
You don’t hear the wah-wah much these days. I don’t know why more bands don’t wanna wah, but it’s used well here to let something loose over the zip-locked rhythm section.
Tight pulsing garage rock with the occasional electric outburst, “Be Gone” shows an old favorite going in a fresh direction. The band flips the Black Sabbath switch on and off with terrific cohesion. A tripped out inky depiction of America as a police state on the cover… I wonder what they’re up to.