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New Highway Hymnal soars at Rumble

Posted by Scott McLennan  April 8, 2013 09:06 AM

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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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About the author

Scott McLennan is a Boston Globe music correspondent and previously wrote a music and entertainment column for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette for 15 years. After seeing the band Boston in the Boston Garden as a teenager he never looked back and eventually figured out how to be a professional fan. Scott is very good at writing in the dark. This blog is an ongoing discussion about music happening in and around Boston. Scott will be leading the trek across genres looking for new releases and hot shows as well as just checking in with the people who make Boston such a great place to listen. More »
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