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Set to tape earlier this year under the guidance of cantankerous indie god Steve Albini, Surgeon’s Angry Guest EP is a cleaner, meaner affair than the Philly quartet’s past work, including that under their previous name Bumrunner. The shadowy band still thrives on the tension between singer/bassist Sean Boltron’s chirping, androgynous vocals and guitarist/songwriter Lydia Giordano’s twisty, surreal leads. Surgeon’s not afraid to dig for inspiration in mainstream classic and modern rock, and yet the players darken the corners considerably and sneak in prog-metal undertones. The EP’s seven songs are as tight and crunchy as we’ve come to expect, their increasingly eerie vibe culminating in the standout closer “Walking Fire.” (D.W.)

- Philadelphia Weekly by Doug Wallen

Surgeon may have gotten its start as a high school band practicing near Germantown Avenue in Mount Airy, but of late it’s been hard to miss the group on the Fishtown/Northern Liberties scene.
And that’s a good thing, considering their style of rock is an invigorating, lively blend of classic, metal and indie that has capped off many a good evening in local clubs.
Black Sabbath, Queens of the Stone Age, AC/DC, the Toadies and the Pixies are some of the bands that inform Surgeon’s sound, though it is fair to say that the musicians spent the last couple of years forming a sound very much their own.
Surgeon is, indeed, a band that is hard not to take notice of — if only for the sheer amount of energy they bring to the stage. Their music is loud and big, full of tight and blistering guitar riffs, hammering bass lines and the punchy vocals of front man Sean Bolton, a.k.a. "Scan Boltron."
Formed in 2003, the band consists of vocalist Bolton, who also handles bass; Jersey native Chris Wilson on rhythm guitar; Ari Miller on drums; and Lydia Giordano, who pens the songs and rips it up with her crushing, standout lead guitar.
Having recently shed its original name — Bum Runner — the band has been busy playing local clubs like the Fire and the North Star with a solid set of songs that are instantly recognizable as their own.
Seven of those songs were recently recorded and are set for release next Saturday at the Tritone. Dubbed Angry Guest, the EP will be familiar to anyone who has caught the band’s live acts.
In January, the Philly four-piece traveled all the way out to the Windy City to work with renowned recording engineer Steve Albini in his Electrical Audio studios.
Bolton said the band was attracted to Albini because of his work on classic recordings like Nirvana’s In Utero and the Pixies’ Surfer Rosa. Not to mention that the Chicago engineer charges a flat rate for his work and takes a DIY approach free of contracts, making it a good deal for a start-up band.
Listening to Surgeon’s Angry Guest, the trip west seems to have done the band well. Albini masterfully captured the intense energy of the songs, giving a well-oiled feel to the music without losing the edge displayed in Surgeon’s enticing live performances.
Songs like the short-play’s kickoff, Amy Rica, jump out right from the start, with snaking guitar riffs and Bolton’s vocals as full of vigor as ever.
Live favorite and standout track Walking Fire smolders with a weird psychedelic aura of wavering guitar work and shadowy lyricism; the closer, Pull, chugs forward with a proper metal intensity that begs for a full-length follow-up in the near future.
As a debut recording, Angry Guest shows a band well educated in the art of rock ’n’ roll, full of potential and ready for more.
Still, spinning the EP is no substitute for catching Surgeon live, and fans of unadulterated rock goodness will do well to catch them in action at their upcoming live sets.
Their dynamic is, to say the least, impressive. Bolton superbly does his part as the front man, enthusiastically thrashing about the stage while delivering his vocals with passion and still managing to thump out the bass lines that keep the songs throbbing along.
But perhaps the most thrilling part of their shows is the most subtle as well. Standing just off to side, the fiery-haired Giordano works her magic with little fanfare, filling the air with absolutely crushing guitar riffs.
It is a stage presence that seems to say much about the quiet genius behind the booming music of Surgeon. It also is something not to be missed.
- Music Row By Brian Rademaekers


EP - Angry Guest : 7-song recorded by Steve Albini



Formed in a dingy basement in Mount Airy, PA, in 2003, Surgeon has become a fixture in the Philadelphia music scene. Chief songwriter and lead guitarist Lydia Giordano informs the band’s musical direction, along with Sean Bolton (aka Scan Boltron) who fronts the band on vocals and bass. Aspiring recording engineer, Jersey boy, Chris Wilson plays rhythm guitar, and architect Ari Miller plays drums. The quartet's influences include Black Sabbath, Queens of the Stone Age, AC/DC, the Toadies and the Pixies. They’ve gained a reputation in their hometown as a featured act, opening for Powerman 5000 at the Fillmore East at the TLA, and headlining shows at the North Star Bar, the Khyber and The Fire. Surgeon has played in Brooklyn, NY and Washington, D.C., at clubs like CBGB’s, Asylum, Arlene’s Grocery, Pianos and R&R. The band has also played music festivals including the CMJ Music Festival in 2006 and 2007 and the NXNE music conference in Toronto, and was also a featured act at the 2007 NXNE Festival.

In January of 2008, the band ventured out into the windy city of Chicago and spent a week working with the greatly admired engineer, Steve Albini , to record a 7-song EP called Angry Guest.