One of my favorite new local bands, The Notes and Scratches explode from the speakers with Tom Waits’ gruff and Neutral Milk Hotel’s innovation. “Uh-Oh,” the band’s debut on Tense Forms, so drastically and dangerously blends countless instruments—it’s an epic introduction to the free-for-all band, forty minutes of pure musical reckless abandon that charms from start to finish. Joshua Dumas’ vocal scratch—though off-putting at first—is a new sound altogether, an instrument on its own, always rumbling and wheezing. His rasp is alive and climbing Everest. A rare record indeed, “Uh-Oh” catapults higher into a rough-edged delirium as each song passes, remarkably smudged and crammed. Quixotically lazy, “Uh-Oh” is like no other, and thankfully, this time around, the band gets a headlining slot. I want more. (Tom Lynch)
July 23 at Empty Bottle.