Ovlov & Slow Mass

Ovlov & Slow Mass

Mannequin Pussy, Permanent Body

Fri, June 15, 2018

Doors: 7:30 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

First Unitarian Church

Philadelphia, PA

$10.00 - $12.00

This event is all ages

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Ovlov
Ovlov
Ovlov are an immovable force. The Newtown, CT based band are a glimmer of hope for all that is pure in rock and have become one of the East Coast’s absolute most beloved indie bands. Since the band formed in 2008, Ovlov have delivered walls of corrosive distortion combined with sharp melodic brilliance and a knack for unpredictability that sets them apart from the pack. An energetic and honest band, Ovlov have developed a sound that can envelop a room in guitar noise while the audience sings along with every infectious hook. Slow burning shoegaze songs blend with blistering fuzz punk for a dynamic experience that’s serene, stunning, and crushingly chaotic. Enormously influential on the scene around them, Ovlov have built a strong reputation in Connecticut and beyond, a band playing by their own rules and consistently amazing all who come in contact.

After an incredible 2013 that saw Ovlov’s much awaited full length debut Am (Exploding In Sound Records) bring the band to new audiences and widespread acclaim across the globe, Ovlov have continued to keep fans stunned in 2014, releasing a fantastic split single with Little Big League (Tiny Engines Records), touring with Disco Doom, Pity Sex, and Basement, supporting Built to Spill, Ought, and playing to over enthusiastic audiences with likeminded bands and friends in California X, Pile, Sneeze, Fins, and more. Ovlov have no intention on slowing down either as the band get ready to release two upcoming four-way splits, together with LVL UP, Krill, Radiator Hospital (on Double Double Whammy) and another with Ex-Breathers, Gnarwhal, and more (on Community Records). Jah bless.
Slow Mass
Slow Mass
Slow Mass doesn’t sound like many other bands, and that’s because they work in a way precious few are willing to.

Formed in 2015 by Dave Collis (vocals and guitar) and his then-roommate Josh Sparks (drums), the pair began developing songs without a specific goal in mind. Soon, they’d be joined by Josh Parks (guitar) and Mercedes Webb (vocals and bass), and together they would craft the Treasure Pains ​EP, which showcased Slow Mass’ unique take on post-hardcore and indie-rock. The band toured hard in support of ​Treasure Pains,​ nabbing high-profile opening slots for the likes of mewithoutYou and The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die, making a name for themselves across the country while fine-tuning the material that would make up their debut album ​On Watch​.

Recorded with Neil Strauch at Minbal Studios, ​On Watch ​expands upon Slow Mass’s sonic palette. Recurring motifs segment the record, allowing it to feel like a cohesive work with clearly defined halves. Returning to Strauch was a no-brainer for the band, and not just because they worked with him on ​Treasure Pains​. “He’s the kind of producer where, for the time you’re in the studio, feels like they’re in the band,” says Webb. Collis adds to that, noting that what makes Strauch a perfect collaborator, is that he maintains a light, thoughtful touch. “The real important part of Neil’s process and his contribution is that his stamp is not prevalent,” he says. “I think he understands what makes most sense for that moment in time and for that band. He’s not trying to overstep in a way the benefits him. But with that in mind, he’s very good at pushing and pulling when the time comes.”

That push and pull is something the band embraced fully, allowing them to adapt naturally and organically to any new scenario. During the writing period of ​On Watch​, Sparks left the band to join Minus The Bear, though he still recorded on the bulk of the album. In his place, Collis’ longtime friend Dave Maruzzella stepped in, learning Sparks’ parts while contributing to the song “Schemes.” In doing so, he learned firsthand about how Slow Mass operates. “The motto, quite simply, is that there are no shortcuts,” says Maruzzella. “Your first instinct about what you want to do? Don’t do that one. Your second one? Don’t do that one either. That’s the easy way, that’s the common sense way, that’s what anyone else would put there. So our way is to do the tenth one, so you’re ten moves away from your initial instinct.”

“It’s about allowing yourself to be brought to that place,” says Collis, explaining how ​On Watch sounds united, but not predictable. Songs like “Suburban Yellow” and “Oldest Youngest” show the band’s ability to bowl you over with their propulsive force, while tracks like “My Violent Years” and “Tunnel Vision Quest” embrace experimental minimalism, putting drums to the side and allowing delicate layers and plaintive vocal melodies to carry them from start to finish. Then there’s a song like the “The Author,” which builds upon loping riffs, calming vibraphone—courtesy of Ryan Packard on vibraphone, who was also on ​Treasure Pains​—and descends into all-consuming chaos by its end.

When discussing their creative approach, every member is quick to use the word “collective,” driving home the point that Slow Mass works as a unit. “It really is a collective work,” says Parks. “It’s a pretty special thing. Most bands don’t act that way.” ​On Watch ​proves that, with every member making deliberate choices that never feel out of place. It also manifested by inviting some of their friends to contribute to the album, with Al Costis playing upright bass on “My Violent Years”, Sen Morimoto adding saxophone to “My Violent Years” and “On Watch II”, and Viv McConnell playing the flute on “Tunnel Vision Quest.”

The result of that communal effort is ​On Watch​, an album that expands beyond genre lines while retaining every bit of urgency found on the band’s debut EP. The album sits alongside such classics as ​The Argument ​and L​ eaves Turn Inside You​, becoming the latest in a long line of records that push a genre forward by never making a single artistic compromise.
Mannequin Pussy
Mannequin Pussy
There are certain ineffable qualities to being a punk band that exists meaningfully. In the most simplistic terms, within the music there must be some sort of art practice, something communicative. Even in its most barebones brashness, precise construction goes a long way. This has never been a problem for Philadelphia’s Mannequin Pussy. With two full-length albums, 2014’s G.P. and 2016’s Romantic, inspiring critical acclaim from places like Pitchfork, NPR, Stereogum, the A.V. Club and more, it’s something impossible to describe and impossibly easy to notice. “Being in a punk band where you don’t want to take yourself too seriously while trying to aggressively make art through your music,” frontwoman Marisa Dabice explains of the band’s objective, “I think people sometimes expect kitschy-ness and I don’t want to do that.” There’s no danger of it.

Mannequin Pussy began as a duo between childhood best friends Dabice and guitarist Thanasi Paul. The pair wrote together, eventually feeling pressure to record a collection of songs. They did, and the bulk of Dabice’s first ever original material became their debut release, G.P. The demos showed immediate promise: Dabice’s idiosyncratic guitar playing of someone rediscovering their musical edge and Paul’s instrumental mobility. G.P. is a hopeful sort of scrappy experiment—but one that wouldn’t fully realize Mannequin Pussy until the duo met their creative collaborators in bassist Colins “Bear” Regisford and drummer Kaleen Reading.

Now a quartet, the band’s sophomore LP, Romantic, embodies Mannequin Pussy’s greatness: 20-minutes of hungry, genre-defying eclecticism that no longer feels like a collection of tracks but a record of real, discernible cohesion. Romantic kicks off with its title track, Dabice whisper-singing intimate vignettes of loneliness before exploding into trash-punk realizations—it’s hard to miss the mark when she offers the eyebrow-furrowing scream “I’m in hell.” It proceeds “Emotional High,” the most loving track on the record—a punk-pop anthem that removes itself from the transparent toxicity of some of the album’s other themes, or the progressive politicism of a song like “Pledge,” which offers the listener a new pledge of allegiance, one to themselves and no one else.

At their heart, Mannequin Pussy is a band that mosaics, taking unlike parts and making something new and whole from it’s unique pieces. It’s the direct result an artistic marriage between it’s four members, helmed by Dabice’s no non-sense, vulnerable and strong worldview. “What we hope for when people experience our music is a cathartic release, to not feel so alone in the emotions that most of us have, to maybe see the way other people experience theirs,” she says of the band’s aspirations. “Above all, the hope is that someone can listen to this album, feel connected to it on a personal level and have it set them free from all the toxic feelings that we hold on to.” It’s evident that they will, and do.
Permanent Body
Permanent Body
Permanent Body is the home recording project of longtime Philadelphia DIY stalwart Barrett Lindgren. As a principle, the project leans into the approachable and familiar, eschewing artistic pretense to explore only what feels immediately honest. The band has featured live and recorded contributions from Robyn Campbell, Kyle Laganella, Kian Sorouri, Jarret Nathan, and Shannen Moser.
Venue Information:
First Unitarian Church
2125 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA, 19103
http://www.philauu.org/