Like a psychedelic tornado, The New Highway Hymnal swept up night 1 of the Rock 'n' Roll Rumble Sunday at TT the Bear's in Cambridge.
The Okay Win, Cancer Killing Gemini, and Velah rounded out the first night of the 24-band competition, presenting four stylistically diverse entries.
But there was no denying the sheer energy of the New Highway Hymnal, a raw-sounding three-piece that bounds through garage punk and psych-rock. Song felt like they were on the verge of flying apart until the very end when the band did just let everything collapse into feedback. I wasn't a judge, but the New Highway Hymnal earned the highest marks on my tally Sunday.
Though I'm keeping an eye on the Okay Win; that band's three-guitar approach throws some melodic heft and rhythmic depth into their indie-pop underpinnings.
The Rumble continues tonight_ Monday_ at TT's with Endation, the Deep North, Herra Terra, and Camden.
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