Like the best of the shoegaze genre, the production on BUMMED’s five-song demo allows for the reverb to fill in all the available space like the warm, comforting fog of a sauna… but it does so without ever allowing that fog to blur the soaring melodies and well-crafted song structures encased within. All the parts are crisp and clear, allowing the subtleties of texture and melody to shine.

The Somerville-based combo have offered up a demo that, for all you might glean from their rather downbeat moniker, does offer up a good deal of sunlight to balance out the darkness. In fact, it’s the melding of numerous varied influences which allows it to stand out in the crowded shoegaze scene.

Opener “v” weaves and wavers with a punk-pop energy that calls to mind the almighty BLACK TAMBOURINE, while “Dream 14” rides a guitar melody and bass line that wouldn’t be out of place in the darker moments of a mid-period CURE album. The middle track, “Slow See”, is a standout which perfectly melds the pop sensibilities of the first two tracks to blasts of Kevin Shields-esque slippery guitar noise. “Sensation” starts with a soulful bass hook and some ringing power chords which even bring to mind early mod stuff like THE WHO and THE YARDBIRDS before dipping into a more lethargic half-time finish and allowing the whole thing to fade away on the massive mid-tempo churn of the closing track, “Scene of Two”.

The BUMMED tape did not leave me feeling overwhelmingly bummed, but it’s a great soundtrack for shorter days and longer nights and a fantastic debut by a local band from whom I can’t wait to hear more. I have a feeling its enveloping warmth will envelop listeners through the upcoming winter nicely.

BUMMED’s demo is available now via bandcamp. They’re playing a free show tomorrow night (Wednesday, October 29th) with Diarrhea Planet at Tufts University.

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