A Good Front
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A Good Front

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Music

The best kept secret in music

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A Good Front and Post Bliss (from New York) played at the All Asia in Cambridge, MA on Saturday. Both bands put on fun performances, which was very respectable given the environment they were in. If you’re not aware, the All Asia is basically a bunch of people eating food and drinking and then a little band stand on the side. It’s complete with a crackly PA. Very very awkward environment from my usual venues. All the bands seemed really nice too and made a point to talk to me for a bit. Definitely check both of them out. Oh yeah, and A Good Front played the beginning of We Will Rock You. That was sweet!

See http://www.flickr.com/photos/futurebreed/sets/72157600040531591/
for photo coverage! - Future-Breed.com


I came early to Cholmondeley's Saturday night and watched the crowd waiting for the upcoming performances-it was Purim, so some people were in costume-and the second barista didn't show up on time. They were out of pitas. Then cheese. One of the band members (Alicia Cattaneo, drums, A Good Front) got out Guess Who? and started playing with a girl in a spiked mohawk, pre-gaming as it were. I bought an O.K. cappuccino and stood around with my camera, hoping something would happen. The organizers finally figured out the PA system and someone hooked in a decent iTunes collection.

Around 9:30, the concert finally got going: The first act, Mykim Dang, an acoustic girl-with-guitar act from Emerson. Dang was pretty good, a sweet, quiet little voice and a comparatively big acoustic guitar. After a bit of a wait, Sabrina Stone '08 was up, a slight reorganization of the lineup as the lead singer for Kissing Electric missed his commuter rail and had to be retrieved from North Station. Stone, a pretty brunette with a well-used, shiny-dirty black guitar, played acoustic rock, featuring a great voice and enjoyable lyrics. The crowd didn't seem to really be there with her, mostly talking, laughing and eating instead, possibly because so many new people were coming in the door.

After Stone, another wait, and Barnett finally appeared, looking positively yummy in a lavender shirt and coiffed pompadour. The band took the stage a few minutes later and immediately started jamming. Kissing Electric refers to their songs as "sexually-driven," and so they are-lyrics emphasizing the taste and smell and whatever of the opposite sex are a major theme. The sound, as heralded by one of the editors at the Berklee Grove "is like a supercharged erotic fantasy courtesy of a posh, designer-drug cocktail." It is '80s synth, spiced with VHS or Beta, Duran Duran and a touch of The Killers.

The bassist, Grant Himmler, and the drummer, Matt Sanchez, were practically partying on stage, while the synth man Joe LaChance was less enthusiastically clonking along on excellent synth lines; the tone of the music overrode the depressed body language on his face. The set was pretty much non-stop for about 45 minutes, and the band's energy level increased as they went on, despite the sweat dripping down Barnett's face. There were shouts of "Encore!" from the crowd at the end, but because of the delays, there was no time, though the enthusiasm was there.

A Good Front leapt up on stage with their usual energy. I've seen the group a few times before and anticipated the usual awesome show, though I've never seen them on an actual stage before-mostly friends' living rooms. The group began well, Cattaneo enthusiastically hammering away at the drums while guitarist Bryan Winter and bassist Julian Spy kept up the pace. Gray Bouchard, their handsome and charismatic lead singer, was jumping around like a madman, as he is known to do; everything was mostly going on as usual, though they weren't as tight as they could have been. Guest musician Kitty played an electronic vibraphone on a few songs towards the end, but the microphones started acting up and lyric-driven songs suffered.

The crowd, mostly people I've seen at other A Good Front concerts at Brandeis, knew the songs and tried to help the group out, but there was little to be done Saturday night; their performance Wednesday night at Chum's will probably be much better. A Good Front bills itself on Myspace as indie/alternative/punk, which is an accurate description of their music-friends listening have simply called it rock, but I think it's a bit more than that, a deeper, more driven sound with heavy, punkish rhythm and angry, nearly screaming lyrics.
- The Justice


Discography

Subterranean Cabaret, 2007
1. The Dead Dance!
2. Every Whim and Wish
3. Smoke
4. Unwelcome
5. Subterranean Cabaret
6. Bravos All Around
7. Whats So Funny ('Bout Blood, Death, and Insurrection)
8. Your Lullabye
9. Blighted

The Brandeis Recordings, 2007
1. Jack The Bastard
2. Every Whim and Wish
3. Blue and White

...Gets Minimum Wage Jobs (Live EP), 2006
1. Smoke
2. Every Whim and Wish
3. Keep Tahoe Blue
4. The Dead Dance!
5. Halloween This Year

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

A Good Front is a Boston area based rock band, started in 2006 by singer/songwriter Gray Bouchard and guitarist Bryan Winter. Drummer/vocalist Alicia Cattaneo joined shortly thereafter, and A Good Front began to quickly pick up momentum all over the Boston metro.

Mixing a plethora of sounds is the key to the musical amalgam that the band is known best for. From pop to punk, alternative to blues, A Good Front delivers surprising changes of pace with every transition. The band is influenced by many different types of artists, and each member has their own listening style. Combining this with the collaborative nature of the band is what creates the unique sound.

Gray was raised on horrorpunk, his favorite holiday obviously being Halloween. His primary influences include driving force from The Misfits, the vocal harmonies from Queen, and the sultry smooth voice of Peter Gabriel.

Bryan’s guitar playing finds its roots in the blues. He idolizes the legendary Johnny Cash, but also finds some fanaticism in the eclectic music of The Dresden Dolls. The juxtaposition of the classic rock guitars and the synthesized keys are his specialty.

Alicia’s drumming style was cultivated in a home of endless musical choices. Growing up with a DJ as a father, she was constantly pushed to listen to every kind of music there is. Even though she finds her first love in rock and roll, she can’t deny the affair with R&B, afro-cuban, jazz, funk, and African rhythms as her drumsticks wander…

When you put these three together, there is no telling what’s going to come out of the PA. The songwriting is ever-changing, but always manages to hook the listener on a line, straight through the cheek.

Now, on the brink of releasing their first album in 2007, AGF is taking the steps to solidify an up and coming career in the music industry. While still being “unsigned,” AGF is using their “indie” status to their advantage, creating almost a cult following in the college scene of the Boston area. Keep a vigilant eye open, because A Good Front is making plans on taking the world by storm.