Rocket Shop 3/7/2012: Wolcot; ]Hexdump[

Photo by Samantha Donnelly.

First on the scene at Rocket Shop last night was }Hexdump{, who describe themselves as a sonic research and development group. Comprised of three members — Professor Doomsday, Reverend Elgee, and Emcee Eschaton — they arrived promptly with electronics in hand, and shook the BHW studio for a solid twenty-three minutes with their electronic soundscape. Their sound started slowly, building towards a critical mass as more and more pieces folded into the tense, ambient jam. It was later explained to me by the Emcee that this was thanks to Ableton Live, a music sequencer which allows for simple live recording and mixing. That, mixed with Professor Doomsday's ES1 vintage synth.

When asked to elaborate on the peculiarities of their style, }Hexdump{ became rather tight-lipped. They explained that their methods were a “top-secret sorta thing” and that revealing too much could inadvertently expose listeners to more than they were ready for. In fact, the practical application of the }Hexdump{ sound is good for much more than just listening; I was informed that many of the wave-types used were integral in protecting the BHW studios from the effects of solar flares expected later this week! “While we can't divulge the secrets of our methods,” Emcee Eschaton assured me, “just know that they are benign.”

Photo by Kendra Merrill.

What }Hexdump{ was more than happy to talk about was the group's plan for the future. Come April 10th, the band will be celebrating their 17th anniversary, and are hard at work finishing their new album, 'Steganography,' in hopes that their release date can coincide. Along with a collaborative book and remix CD, the group doesn't seem like they'll be slowing down anytime soon. As the Emcee explained: “It's what we know. We've been here forever, there's no reason to change now.”

For more information on }Hexdump{, you can check out their Facebook page:

Wolcot interview by Andrew Bruhns. Photo by Samantha Donnelly.

Last week Wolcot was in the studio to play a few stripped-down acoustic songs and discuss their upcoming show at 242 Main on April 7th. The Hinesburg-based band, which consists of Garret Linck, lead guitar/percussion/primary noise maker; Albert Brown, bass guitar; Drew Cooper, rhythm guitar; and Thomas Keller, lead vocals/percussion/rhythm guitar, have been playing together since 2007, and STILL aren't out of high school yet.

While the group considers themselves an above-the-garage band, they have been steadily refining their sound by playing live whenever they get the chance. The Radio Bean, Higher Ground, Memorial Auditorium, The Monkey House, and 242 Main are just a few of the venues that Wolcot can claim to have played already.

The band didn't waste any time during their first visit to the Radiator, and quickly filled the void created by an acoustic set with intricate clapping and backing vocals. The performance had traces of Edward Sharp and The Mountain Goats, two bands that Wolcot list as influences. Listen to Wolcot plugged in and you get a whole different feel. The polished online tracks are where you can hear influences like Sonic Youth, The Strokes, Nirvana, and Dinosaur Jr. shine through clear as day.

To learn more about Wolcot, visit their Facebook page at . Also check out Wolcot's website . Be sure not to miss the new tracks from the 'Neutral Milk Hotel Sessions.'

The Rocket Shop Playlist: Hexdump (Live) Wolcot, "Red Chair" Wolcot, "Bring You Back From Monday" (Live) Wolcot, "Goats and Ghosts" (Live) Rocket Shop playlists are logged with RadioActivity.