The Modulated Tones
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The Modulated Tones

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"Fillmore Jive- live Halloween 2010 @ The Lemon Grove"

It is quite evident that New Castle PA’s Fillmore Jive have achieved the proto-shoegaze/neo-pyschedelic sound that the band has been working towards.
Watching the band grow has been a wonderful story in which the band has emerged into the conceptual territories of their heroes. Fillmore Jive is cutting into more drone, space and noise akin to acts in the realm of Loop, Spacemen 3, Skullflower, and even The Hospitals to name a few. With new member Kris Kasperowski on bass, the band’s sound showcases rounded -out Neo-Wave -laden auditory attack. Kevin Braun can easily play alongside High Rise’s Munehiro Nirita when it comes to the quintessential mid-80s guitar sludge . Gina Kantner’s primal rock percussive stomps provide a steady well grounded atmosphere to Fillmore’s sound.
Fillmore Jive’s new focus captures a moment during the early to mid 80s when neo-pyschedelic acts strived to showcase 60's intentions, but without having a throwback sound, allowing more post-punk minimalism, progressive trance, Krautrock , and acidic heaviness to manifest through.
- youngstownrock.com


"The Black Angels / 9.10.2010 / Pittsburgh, PA / Diesel"

If you’ve never been to show at Diesel before, you should know that it mostly operates as a club/lounge and, accordingly, their concerts start and end early. I showed up around 6:30 to find a mostly empty room, with just a handful of others sitting on comfy couches opposite dancing poles (yes, like for strippers). The stage was already set up with two drumkits, a couple racks of guitars, and a wide array of effects pedals. One amp had a piece of paper attached to it with a schedule for the show: “Fillmore Jive 7:30-8:00, The Black Angels 8:15-9:30, Curfew 9:30.” Curfew? What the hell? It was a sign of other venue issues to come, but more on that later. Let’s get to the music.
Those effects pedals I saw were put to good use, and then some, by Fillmore Jive. This young duo hails from Western PA and plays really loud rock music, simple as that. Gina (drums) can really pound the skins and fill in the beats with lots of cymbals, building a strong rhythmic backbone for Kevin (vocals/guitar) to slaughter with massive guitar shredding. Most of their performance sounded alike, in that they would build a beat and a short guitar melody, then devolve into sonic chaos, wherein Kevin would stutter-walk around the stage thrusting his guitar at any amp in sight, tapping three or four effects pedals to modulate the sound, playing with a bottleneck way down by the bridge, etc. All the while, Gina kept her head down and her hair in her face, thumping along to keep the song going, eventually bringing everything to an end with a quick ritardando. Sometimes, Kevin would sing, but it’s clearly not the focal point of their music. They’re all about building an atmosphere and exploring that space, especially if that exploration means throwing on a strobe light and strumming your guitar as fast as humanly possible. It was an interesting sight, really, but my complaint is that you can hardly make anything out during that din: there’s no real melody or even any notes, per se, just a powerful wave of sound that they jam into your ears. That can be great sometimes, but I think they sound better on record, based on a demo CD of theirs I picked up about a year ago. Kudos to Kevin, though, for breaking a string early on in their set and playing right through like it was no big deal.
In a way, Fillmore Jive were perfect openers for The Black Angels, who swooped onto the stage next and showed them how it’s really done. “This is how you make your guitar do your bidding, mere mortals!” . . . is what they would have said if they were that cocky, or evil. Rather, they played an awesome set of new and old songs, showing off their mastery of a variety of instruments and their raw ability to craft a beautifully gloomy, guitar-heavy atmosphere. Their songs tend to conjure imagery of long drives through a southern desert (after all, they are from Austin, TX) or vivid thoughts of fighting in a war. Take “Young Men Dead”, for example; the lyrics themselves are steeped in overt war imagery, and the way the solitary opening guitar riff turns into a foreboding soundscape is just a fucking perfect example of their sound, as a whole, and it was the perfect choice for a show-opening number. In fact, I wasn’t even sure that they had started since that guitar riff kinda blended into Christian Bland (the tallest, most left-handed guitarist I’ve ever seen in person) tuning his guitar, but once the drums kicked in, I knew we were in for a wild ride.
They played a bunch of standout tracks from their new album (Phosphene Dream, officially released on September 14) including “Bad Vibrations” and “Yellow Elevator #2? and “Telephone”, plus several older tracks, including “You on the Run”,”Science Killer” and “The Sniper at the Gates of Heaven” (after some guy requested it several times, actually). The beginning portion of their set was marred by some sound issues, with lots of feedback in the vocals and occasionally mikes turning off. Only Diesel can be blamed for that, and they did what they could to fix it, but it was annoying to see their tech guy (with a creepy old lady mask on, at that) have to walk on stage and fiddle with knobs. Regardless, from my front and center vantage point, I was able to finally put some visuals to the audio I’ve loved for so long. The pure talent of these musicians is evident: the four guys swapped around guitar and bass and vocal duties, some of them played keyboards and/or maracas, one of them became a temporary second drummer, and another played a guitar solo by hitting the strings with a tambourine. Fucking awesome. The fifth member is their drummer, Stephanie Bailey, who does an amazing job of tying their sound together. I found myself wanting to watch everyone at once and not miss any little tricks. I saw Christian stepping on his Vox pedal to get the wah-wah effect during the chorus of “First Vietnamese War”; I saw Nate Ryan’s awesome guitar solos where he walks calmly right up to the amp and feeds the reverb like a pro; I saw Kyle Hunt play both drums and bass during a single song; and I watched Alex croon into his mike, cap pulled down on his forehead, leaving his tightly-shut eyes in shadows and only adding to the mystique of the muffled, reverberating vocals.
They finished promptly before curfew at 9:22 and Diesel turned up the lights and cued the house music before we even had a chance to demand an encore. Fie on that, I say. This was an amazing performance by a great band, and I only wish it had been somewhere else. I encourage you to check out their songs, and go see them live whenever you have a chance. You will not be disappointed.
Overall: 9 out of 10 skinny-jeaned
- drawuslines.com


"Fillmore Jive Bring The Noise"

Fillmore Jive, consisting of two psychedelic rockers, will bring their unique sound to Annabell’s in Akron’s Highland Square on March 26th. Formed in the spring of 2008 in Youngstown, the band has been labeled as a hybrid of Spacemen 3, Jesus and Mary Chain and The Velvet Underground. Already becoming widely known throughout Ohio and Pennsylvania, Fillmore Jive is ready to conquer the world. The two-piece has been described as one of the best and most original psychedelic bands in the area.
The free show begins at 10pm with Akron bands The Hobs and Mason Dies also on the bill.
- Buzzbin Magazine


Discography

Everybody Must Get Droned 7'' (Bent Crayon Records) (CLE)

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Bio

A new psychedelic dawn has arrived. Evoking space through effects and clashing noise and minimalism, distortion and ambience; The Modulated Tones add an interstellar edge to neo-psychedelia. After a decade of record swapping friendship; Kevin Berlin and Gina Kantner formed garage psychedelic rock two-piece Fillmore Jive. Using wah-wah, echo box, feedback and side guitar; unstructured cosmic jamming ensued. Playing nearly 100 shows in their first year the duo’s live show is a musical and visual exploration described as, “So far out, It’s straight down.” Settling in to a more drone induced, heavily psychedelic arabesque, the two-piece decided to change its name to The Modulated Tones in 2011. In the studio, the band adds bass, guitar parts, synthesizer and anything else needed to make their music psychedelic ecstasy. Live the band is an unrelenting intense wall of sound. The band encourages mind expansion through their music. Stick with The Modulated Tones. Everybody Must Get Droned.