FIELD REPORT: Krill // Big Ups // LVL UP // Stove // Palm

 All Photos: Dylan Johnston

All Photos: Dylan Johnston

Gerard Marcus

There are few bands I respect more in this world than Krill. There are even fewer record labels I admire more than Exploding in Sound. So when I saw that there was going to be an EIS showcase night at Brooklyn venue Palisades headlined by Krill, I obviously had to go. Pics were taken.


Palm is the only band I didn't previously know before going to this show, which is a shame because I would have felt way cooler if I did. I want to note that first impressions are very important to me and Hudson, New York's (although I think they've moved to Philly) Palm made one of the best I've ever seen.

From the start the brilliant noise-rock four-piece had me completely hypnotized with their rich sonic tones and bizarre takes on rhythm and arrangement.

I enjoyed their set so much that I immediately bought every piece of merch they had for sale, then very soon after the show went home and pre-ordered their new album Trading Basics (set for release November 6th on Exploding in Sound). The skeptics among you might be doubting my enthusiasm, but they're playing Palisades again on September 17th if you demand some proof for yourself.


I always wanted to see Ovlov live. Sadly, as some of you might know, that's no longer possible seeing as the group broke up earlier this year. Fortunately, though, former Ovlov frontman and lead songwriter Steve Hartlett has since started another project: Stove.

Their live show was great. To be honest, I was still so in awe of seeing Palm that it took a while for my brain to recognize that another act had started playing, but when I snapped back to reality I found myself really enjoying what I heard.

I remember hearing a while back that Stove's debut album, is Stupider, is due out later this year, and after seeing them live I can finally say I'm truly excited for its release.


One reason I love Exploding in Sound is that almost every act on the label scratches a different musical itch. LVL UP is an act I find myself listening to again and again as I walk around New York, meditating on existential questions and whatnot. Maybe this conditioning is why their live set which managed to so thoroughly transported me to a place of serenity.

LVL UP is surprisingly intimate, even though they probably rocked the hardest out of all the acts that night. I've never seen a group juxtapose so much self-reflective thoughtfulness with what was essentially a very punk stage presence.

Big Ups

Just like I listen to LVL UP when I want to reflect, I listen to Big Ups when I want to feel like a badass. This compulsion comes directly from the always-captivating performances of Joe Galarraga.

You can't help but get a vibe of, "If you don't like us go fuck yourself! But if you're down, then let's party!"

They were also the one and only group that gave rise to a mosh pit. I love these guys. Can't think of enough good things to say. Just really killer punk music.


Krill, oh Krill. How do I love thee? This experimental garage rock three-piece has produced some of the most intriguing and original music of our time. Truly. Full stop. The chemistry between the members, the wonderfully poetic lyrics of Jonah Furman, the vocal delivery... everything about it is near perfection.

It's been great watching these guys' careers flourish. I still think they're generally pretty underrated by the world at large, but that tends to happen with truly great artists in their prime. The very loyal following they do have came out in force for this show, though, and it made me happy to see so much appreciation for an act that genuinely deserves it.

Their show was great. Everything you would want it to be. They played songs off their new album A Distant Fist Unclenching, lightly weaving the contemplative tales of tracks like "Brain Problem" and "Tiger," while also rocking out hard on jams like "Foot." All in all one of the best concerts of the year, as far as I'm concerned.