RECORD BREAKERS IN-STORE SHOWCASE #3 – 12 DECEMBER This was the “grunge showcase” – Lever being the “4-piece bipolar grunge pop” and New Oceans the “gritty, distorted sound” reminiscent of ‘90s Seattle. Watching these bands perform in their little space would’ve woken up any tired person on a Saturday afternoon who hasn’t managed to wake up yet. Did I mention feedback? Lever’s four members were convulsing on the stage, especially the lead singer Jon Babin, who’s absent his usual guitar due to an unfortunate bathroom ceiling incident. Ask the drummer Michael for the story; he’ll be glad to fill you in – something about being trapped in a bathroom and crawling over a crumbling wall. They might’ve showed up late, but their shortened set didn’t disappoint. They ripped through tracks from their new full-length, “Hover Bored”, released this summer. The name and color scheme on the full-length’s inserts might be a throwback to “Back to the Future,” but their final song, a Nirvana cover, “Aneurysm,” was anything but 80’s. I usually role my eyes when bands opt for the Nirvana cover because, come on everybody does it, but the drummer, guitarist and bassist knew what they were doing and effortlessly infected the room with raw power. Jon Babin’s howling filled any empty spaces that were left in the store. Next up was New Oceans, also a local band. Where Lever was calculated fury, New Oceans was electric chaos, John Kehoe beating up his drums (probably a smart idea that he opted to bring his own kit, instead of using the house kit usually provided to bands) and Rob Miller keeping guitarist David Downs’ spastic riffs in check. The one defining characteristic of their set, featuring songs from their new full-length “Fuzz Buzz”: feedback and lots of it. The amount of feedback left you wondering how these guys (who weren’t wearing earplugs) aren’t completely deaf. Downs’ vocal captures the essence of Nirvana Bleach-Era snarling and his stripe of pink hair evokes ‘80s Mark Arm. Their one failure was breaking the pattern and not ending their show with a Nirvana cover (or branching out a bit, a Mudhoney cover). Downs made up for it by throwing his guitar at his amp and knocking it on the ground before rolling around on the floor a bit at the end of the set. Apparently this is New Oceans at half energy since some of its members were sick. Stay tuned for an announcement for Record Breakers next in-store show (we’re feeling dream pop vibes) and mark your calendars. There will be free hot dogs and soda as usual and a couple hours of free music. We’re trying to remind people we have a record store up here people, so get on over here! – Jenn Endless links: LEVER – NEW OCEANS –