Gabe’s — Wednesday, Jan. 3 at 9 p.m.
Do yourself a favor and brave the cold on Wednesday night, Jan. 3 for a free show from Massachusetts-based, ’90s throwback, garage pop rockers Bucket.
Bucket — Will Meyer (vocals, guitar), Gage Lyons (guitar), Eli Salus-Kliener (bass) and Ryan Sevrin (drums) — was formed thanks to a bad day, Meyer said in an email. “[I] called up my friend Ryan to see if he wanted to write a grunge album with me top to bottom that night.” The album wasn’t completed, but the two got several songs down, and haven’t looked back.
Listening to their first EP, Knocking Down the Garage, is like discovering a lost, mid-’90s-era Beck album. Bucket has a blissfully nostalgic sound that evokes the era while still looking forward.
“The ’90s were dissonant and strange on the whole but were rather triumphant musically,” said Meyer. “A lot of experimentation and outright rebellion in new styles and approaches. So odd that it wasn’t that long ago and we have forgotten so much.”
Their new EP, Bouquet, released in March, 2017 on upstate New York tastemaker label Sad Cactus, is a delightful refinement of that sound, benefiting from top-notch production by Justin Pizzoferrato at Easthampton, Massachusetts studio Sonelab. It’s sharper and keener without feeling slick. It’s got more depth than the first, without losing the fun. And Meyer’s addictive, John McCrea-esque vocals are still front and center.
Bucket admit that their conception of Iowa comes mainly from a Harper’s article penned during caucus season titled “The Trouble with Iowa” — but they’re eager to check it out for themselves as part of their 11-show tour, heading ultimately up to Minnesota.
“Things can start to feel homogeneous in New England sometimes, so it helps to leave,” said Meyer. “Its not always easy for people to take time away from their standard reality, but this music stuff gives us some semblance of purpose (or an excuse?). Since we’re from (basically) a college town, I’m sure we’ll feel right at home.”
If they can handle the wind chill to make it to Gabe’s on Wednesday night, surely locals can, too.