Maritime and Bound Stems rock the pop - Oh My Rockness

Recommended Show
October 11, 2006
Two excellently catchy bands on Flameshovel Records are playing Mercury Lounge on Saturday, October 21st (Happy Birthday Dad and Whitey Ford!). Both Maritime and Bound Stems play instantly likeable music full of radio-friendly hits... if radio didn't blow, that is. Catch them if you can, as they are worth your support.

Milwaukee's Maritime is a supergroup featuring former Promise Ring singer Davey Von Bohlen and Eric Axelson, who was the bassist for The Dismemberment Plan. They are a very pleasant band in the way that Stars is pleasant. It's synthy and sticky pop that (thankfully) never gets too gooey for its own good. Maritime's music is definitely not aggressive. You can listen to this all day at top volume without worry of a headache; though you may get carpel tunnel toe syndrome from tapping along too much. This is super accessible stuff. You and your mom will like it.

Also playing is Bound Stems from Chicago. Even though the last couple times I've seen these guys play Mercury Lounge the room was half-full at best, I still believe this band has the potential to blow up. Their songs are too weirdly wonderful not to reach a wider audience. Bound Stems features four old friends and a guy who used to be in Harvey Danger. Their stellar debut full-length Appreciation Night is full of fuzzy, tricky-time-signature pop, featuring raspy quivery vocals over scattered and distorted guitars. Their pop definitely has a harder edge than Maritime's, but their eccentric songs are singable just the same.

Bound Stems have been compared to everyone from a weirder Walkmen, to The Arcade Fire (ehhhh, possibly) and Dead Milkmen. To me, I sometimes hear that happy hand-clappy hoedown that Sufjan made famous (at least on one song "Excellent News, Colonel.") and singer Bobby Gallivan sometimes sounds like Conor Oberst. So I guess compare them to whomever fits your fancy, but Bound Stems are certainly further proof that a musical resurgence continues to brew in the city of Chicago.

Maritime and Bound Stems play Mercury Lounge, on Saturday, October 21st.


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