Acid Dad impressed a Sinclair crowd with their range, electric energy, and creativity.
The chorus of the second song of Acid Dad’s Sinclair set, “Searchin’,” reads: “I lost, haven’t found / Still searchin’ for the sound / There’s a chain wrapped on me / I’m still stuck in the ‘70s.” That song, which is the lead track off latest album, Take It From the Dead, featured jangly guitars at a lilting tempo and offered a moment of self-reflection and introspection, especially given the state of modern rock. Whatever sound Acid Dad was searching for, and wherever it came from, they then proceeded to completely blow the faces off the crowd with big guitar chords, heavy grooves, and a wall of sound.
Acid Dad was opening for the Psychedelic Porn Crumpets, and the room was already nearly packed as the band came on stage. It was impressive for a Tuesday night in what would be a sold-out show. The crowd was dressed in a variety of garb representing different eras of rock history: a smattering of band t-shirts, hoodies and beanies, psychedelic print shirts, and standard New England autumn wear (jeans and flannel). Acid Dad mimicked the vibe, with one guitarist wearing a tour t-shirt and the other a flower-print jacket.
Perhaps the band’s greatest strength was the way they built their set. After opening with the steady-tempo, riff-based song, “Mr. Major,” and the aforementioned “Searchin’,” they gradually progressed to heavier and heavier tunes. Many of their songs, for example, were structured around a hypnotic guitar riff and energetic drumming that, in turn, laid the foundation for guitar experimentation. This was no small feat considering the band was only a three-piece: as it turns out, their bassist had to leave the tour after the third show, but the other members edited the bass tracks from one of the earlier shows to create samples to play for the rest of the tour.
For this show, drummer Trevor Mustoe handled most of the groove work, while guitarists Vaughn Hunt and Sean Fahey filled the sonic texture and shared vocal duties. The guitarists would mark the spaces between songs with occasional crowd banter, but also with interludes where the guitarists would use their effects pedals to experiment with feedback and noise. Toward the end of the set, the band was hitting the crowd with a massive wall of full distorted guitar chords and pulsing drums. Combined with a psychedelic visualizer and a light show that filled the room with color, the crowd was mesmerized.
One such song played toward the end of their set was “BBQ,” which is constructed around a hypnotic guitar and bass riff that repeats over each verse section. The choruses, meanwhile, featured the wall of big guitar chords. Acid Dad’s vocals certainly fit the songs, but were a little understated, allowing the guitars and the grooves to be the stars that carried their set. They blew through about eleven songs in just under an hour, though it felt like much more time had passed due to the amount of riffs and grooves the band played.
Acid Dad’s concern about being “stuck in the 70s” may be misplaced. They draw upon rock influences from different eras, including subgenres like punk, garage, shoegaze, and psychedelia. What the crowd responded to the most was the energy that the band brought, which was impressive given that there were only three musicians playing. Whatever sound Acid Dad is searching for, the Sinclair crowd was completely there for it and rode the wave until the end.