LARCENIST, of Boston, MA, creates compositions that run the gamut from dark and soulful ballads, to folk-country influence, to large scale sing along post-punk, all while carrying a traditional punk sensibility. All of the founding members, transplants of various areas in Upstate New York, bring their small town influence and stories into their newer city surroundings. Their “country boy” influence allows them to tell intricate tales about the death of mill-towns, the downtrodden blue-collar work community, and bring an appreciation for rustic simplicity. The broken spaces between distorted guitar and driving drums fill with classical violin melodies offered by their newest member. If the beautiful and complex instrumental lines don’t tug at your heartstrings, then the images and story lines that they put together will.
Valentin Splett - Violin
Brandon Mastrangelo - Guitar and Vocals.
Jonathan Schoeck - Piano and Vocals
Jonathan Tompkins - drums and percussion
Steve Terry - Bass.
Self Titled - LP 2009
We Become the Hunted - EP 2011
Bands From the Blogosphere
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Larcenist are busy in the studio working on a new album for us all, and this is a good thing. Having...Larcenist are busy in the studio working on a new album for us all, and this is a good thing. Having had the pleasure of spending some time with these guys, all I can say is if the new music turns out half as good as their glorious beards, or is half as good as they are genuinely nice guys, then we're all in for a treat. Combining guitars with an upright bass, violin, drums, and five dynamic voices all in harmony, there's strength to their music that you just don't hear every day. They are a band you should see live; hearing all five of them singing, "I know I've been damned, I know I've been damned," is something you won't soon forget.
RECOMMENDATION: Larcenist, "We Become the Hunted" (3/29)
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I didn't know anything about Boston-area band Larcenist when I first listened to We Become the Hunte...I didn't know anything about Boston-area band Larcenist when I first listened to We Become the Hunted. They've been called a band for "everything-lovers," and I can definitely see why. There are shadows of singers like Conor Oberst and Jim James (and thus, the Monsters of Folk), but it's really driving and interesting music on its own. They have really layered and full vocal harmony parts, and each song has something special to offer.
TO HEAR WE BECOME THE HUNTED NOW, CHECK OUTLARCENIST'S TUMBLR
What's really outstanding about this acoustic EP, though, is that apparently they are predominantly electric band, and they are known for more heavy music with a "punk sensibility." Larcenist is both taking a step back and redefining themselves with these songs, and moving forward and forcing a new innovation in whatever comes next. Pretty gutsy.
The first song on the EP, "Leon," has an instantly comforting folk sound. I'm one of the few people I know who will argue thatJacksonville City Nights is one of my favorite Ryan Adams disks (though it does depend on the day), and it's got that same comfortable, down-the-street feel to it. With lines like, "go hunting on the weekends before church, it never crossed my mind that these were life skills," "work, work, work, keep this name alive," and my favorite, "all the cars in the front yard were running 'cos of my bare hands," it's an ode to a meaningful life. There's a genuine hope and excitement about a "normal" life here, and it's easy to relate to this in a fast-paced world of social media. People are doing a lot more work now, but it's a lot less permanent or rewarding. This song is its own reward; thoughtful and beautiful.
The string work on this EP is phenomenal. My favorite song is "Proud Life," mostly because the string work in the breakdown on this song is so epic. It's just lilting and strong and gorgeous. They end the song on the refrain, "There've been barstools swallowing paychecks, and lovers left waiting," a sentiment that I think could describe a lot of country songs-- but more succinctly. It knocks the wind out of the story instead of beating it up slowly; very, very cool technique, musically and lyrically.
Larcenist's music on We Become the Hunted is all about the bigger picture. They are tackling big questions-- why is art important, how do you make life matter, and how do you make the most of life. All five songs are great-- this whole EP deserves a listen.
New Music | Larcenist – Leon
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Boston based band, Larcenist contacted me recently with a new EP titled, We Become the Hunted, a 5 s...Boston based band, Larcenist contacted me recently with a new EP titled, We Become the Hunted, a 5 song delight of the folk/americana influence with the caveat of “if you play it twice it’ll be a LP.” Well, I played it a few more times than that (a dozen or so) and I can say that this is some really gorgeous music being played here. Downtrodden songs about rustic surroundings and small town influences and blue collar people, with sweeping violin string accompaniments make these songs instantly likable and the perfect listen for a quiet gray day.
The track they’ve shared with you is Leon, which reminds me of Joe Strummer & the Mescaleros. A storytelling song about complications in blue collar life. Its got a warm guitar rhythm complimented by sweeping violin sounds and strong baritone vocals & group harmonies that create a rustic visual and aural feel.
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Saw Larcenist last night at Pete’s Candy Store and I have to admit that it was pretty dam refreshing...Saw Larcenist last night at Pete’s Candy Store and I have to admit that it was pretty dam refreshing. Haven’t been to Pete’s in quite a while, and it’s just a great small place to see music. And Larcenist was a prefect compliment to the train-car style stage drowned in a red glow. They have what I like to describe as that prospector-rock sound, and the entire takes part in harmonizing which is moving in itself.
Larcenist - Leon
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"Leon" is the title track off of Larcenist's 5 song EP We Become The Hunted which was released just ..."Leon" is the title track off of Larcenist's 5 song EP We Become The Hunted which was released just last week. I just heard this song and have only listened to it a few times, but I found myself instantly hooked and hitting repeat every time the song ended. "Leon" is so smooth and free-flowing that you will find yourself whistling along to these Boston natives in no time. I don't really know too much else about these guys, but I feel that their music does the talking for them. Download "Leon" as well as their EP We Become The Hunted for free over at bandcamp.
Larcenist – Larcenist
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Larcenist is more like a collective than a band. All five members sing and four contribute in the so...Larcenist is more like a collective than a band. All five members sing and four contribute in the songwriting process. Starting out as Boston Vessels, Larcenist was born after a house concert in 2008 when they found guitarist Jeff Rowe (Tomorrow The Gallows, Boxingwater). Brandon Mastrangelo (guitar), Jonathan Tompkins (drums), Steve Terry (bass) and Jonathan Schoeck (keyboards) round out a band that’s difficult to classify and impossible to nail down. In June of this year, Larcenist released their debut CD, also called Larcenist. It’s esoteric, unusual, out of the box and shows flashes of brilliance.
Larcenist opens with Home, a jangly rocker about a desire to give in to the gravity of the place you start out. It could be the message from a small town to a child with stars in their eyes. Artisans & Larcenists is a musical picture of blighted industrial towns where the blue collar workers have been victimized by the loss of factories/jobs; the rich have moved out into the country and the only folks left in town centers are the artists and those who prey upon society. The imagery and lyrical take are dead on even if somewhat simplified in song. It's a great bit of social commentary in the form of a rather nifty song. Excuse continues in the social vein looking at the genesis of street crime. The picture painted here isn't pretty and may well offend some while sparking thought and even conversation in others. In other words, it's dead on.
Timing Is Everything puts someone on a pedestal in very self-effacing terms. It's not my favorite song on the disc but it's an interesting statement based in self-doubt and even perhaps a bit of self-pity. Tragabigzanda takes its name from the coastline near Rockport, Massachusetts, so named by Captain John Smith in 1614 after a Greek Maiden who had been kind to him in captivity. The song reflects the freedom that might have been felt by Smith and his fellow explores upon seeing the headland for the first time. Editor's Notes is a jaunty bit of self-doubt set to music. This is probably one of the most fun tracks on the disc in spite of the content. Larcenist closes out with Alarms & Weekends, a bit of mellow Americana that's the perfect aperitif to the album.
Larcenist has a distinctive Lo-Fi quality to their songs and songwriting that is endearing. The rough edges are here on display and make the songs more interesting. The intelligent social commentary and abjectly disdainful self-image reflected in the songs bring to mind a life-long city dweller with an ultra-realist bent. Larcenist is a fine album that challenges the mind while providing arrangements are pleasant to hear.
Larcenist CD Release
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RSL is proud to champion the Larcenist CD release at the Middle East. Audiences in Boston already kn...RSL is proud to champion the Larcenist CD release at the Middle East. Audiences in Boston already know how good the band can be and things are just getting better. Larcenist began as a four piece (Guitarist Brandon Mastrangelo, Jonathan Tompkins- drums, bassist Steve Terry and Jonathan Schoeck- keys) under the name Vessel. Things changed up when they added guitarist Jeff Rowe (Tomorrow the Gallows, Boxingwater). There was good chemistry and things really just took off.
The sound of each member shines through on their eponymous new album. That's because this band has 5 singers and input on songwriting is a shared duty. With influences ranging from classic rock to country, and soul to punk, they write to make the music of each song define its messages. With all this in mind, here's the premiere of, "Home" the first single from the new album. Show up on the 26th to pickup a copy and see for yourself what the excitement's about!
Lots of hubbub bubbling about the five buddies in Larcenist
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Lots of hubbub bubbling about the five buddies in Larcenist. Is it their knack for writing mugs-in-t...Lots of hubbub bubbling about the five buddies in Larcenist. Is it their knack for writing mugs-in-the-air clanking sing-alongs? No. OK then, it's the chugging, train-track sounds of jukebox favorites like "One Hour," right? Wrong. Perhaps it is the company they keep, with Movers and Shakers and Where the Land Meets the Sea in their scene, and playing excellent little venues like the Plough & Stars? Nope. It's their beards. Duh. [912 Mass. Ave., Central Sq., Cambridge. 617.576.0032. 10:30pm/21+/$5. ploughandstars.com]
Dig Me Up
Born and Raised
Old Iron Mill
Hands & Buckets
Ocean City, Swallowing
Last Hours of Being Young
There are no upcoming dates at this time.