Saturday, July 17, 2010

Album Review :: The Needy Visions

“Just down the street from here”

At the release show, Needy Visions singer Dan Shea was hanging with the crowd, sipping a 22oz. fin du monde, and wearing the same shirt he is in the photo on the back cover of their new vinyl LP. When he offered me a sip and asked where I was from I told him “just down the street from here.” Apparently he’d talked to a lot of “just down the street from here”s that night and told me that’s what it was all about. Everybody just needed a place to get together and hang out.

That’s really the essence of The Needy Visions. The first line of ‘Weymouth’ and also the opening to the record is “we are just a bunch of losers, hanging out in empty buildings. Jumping right into the ocean, full of shit, full of devotion, For our town and for our friends, at least the ones that keep on living. Getting drunk and getting stoned.” Locally, they’re everyone’s favorite band. The shows bring everybody out, because they are notoriously good times. These guys make a lot of noise with simple, fun lyrics that you can move to. Shea’s unexpected sometimes unbelievably high reaching vocals are infectiously catchy and have an inherent humor to them, such as the chorus of ‘Wey-ey-eh-ey-eheh-muuuuuth’ or ‘Endless Possibilities.’

In the past, the group has been a grooving acoustic four piece, tumbling along to a pounding djembe drum with beatkeeper Elliott Chaffe as a second guitarist. However, the new album sees the guys in the garage fuzz glory. The recording has a live sound, emulating their performances perfectly and sounding like it was done by a bunch of dudes hanging out in warehouse with recording equipment. The buzzfeast climaxes in the second to last track ‘Number of the Beast’ that dives right into you from the first shout and ends with a soloing rampage.

Besides just playing music as a means to gather the wayward, Both Shea and bassist Sam Potrykus are local music promoters. They book the new venue in Jamaica Plain called The Temple, work with local record label the Whitehaus Family Record, and help out with the Boston Counter Cultural Compass (look for these brightly colored fliers of local events stitched together by photocopy all around town).
The back cover features everyone involved in the recording process and all their families.
Pick up this 12” record and you can have everybody’s favorite local heroes in your very own living room. (Bodies of Water Arts and Crafts + Motorcycleface Records)

//Jamaica Plain, MA//
//May, 2010//
//Recorded at the Cottage in Dorchester, MA by Elliott Chaffee//
//Mastered by Jim Demain//
//Mixed by Elliott Chaffee//

Published in Performer Magazine, August 2010 issue.

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