Hot Singles in Boston: halfsour / Pile / Space Mountain

If you’ve been paying attention to rock music lately, you might know just how good a music scene Boston has right now. Here’s three terrific songs out of Beantown.

“Not Alright” – halfsour

If a band can’t write an enticing chord progression or solid hook in 55 seconds, then aren’t you wary about their potential to craft something even semi-decent for a two-minute or longer song? Halfsour, members of the Boston-based Disposable America record label, thankfully avoid this problem. In less than a minute on “Not Alright,” Halfsour make an immediate and lasting impression. The guitar tone is impeccable, forlorn but with just enough edge and angst to give it an attitude. The drums and bass provide the rhythmic bounce needed to make everything feel okay in a song where things evidently aren’t okay. The only thing left to reassure unsure singer Zoë Wyner is her own, willful voice. I just wish the track could be longer.



“Two Snakes” – Pile

Pile’s been around the block a few times. For this hot single we dug back through their catalog a bit to a simpler time: 2010. “Two Snakes” is made with dense and muffled production. It’s the kind of thing that works absolute wonders for a band playing to a crowded basement. Or, more appropriately, if you’ve ever been upstairs or next door for such a performance. Pile are too wise to simply tread water on a thick sound. In less than three minutes, they give their arrangements lots of breathing room, so that when the rock comes back, it packs an even bigger wallop. It might not be the prettiest music, but it sure is potent.



“Never Lonely” – Space Mountain

Space Mountain tag their music as “dad rock,” a once pejorative descriptor that seems to be undergoing reclamation by those who perform guitar music that you could play in your parents’ living room. Labels aside, “Never Lonely” is an effective and enticing composition in part because of the guitar work. There is some nice riffage without becoming overly excited. Plus you have the harmonizing between the male and female vocalists and the liquid guitar effect towards the end, with a glistening sheen on the production to give an invaluable warmth to the whole affair from beginning to end. If this is what it means to be called dad rock, then we’ll gladly jump on board.