Rye Pines have simultaneously been described as “East Coast surf,” “noise rock,” and a “psychedelic Modest Mouse.” The trio, made up of lead singer and guitarist Ted Maguire, drummer Alex Page and bassist Michael Pando began as a two piece set after Page and Maguire met while bartending at the Allston institution Deep Ellum. After finding a mutual appreciation for bands like Ovlov and Speedy Ortiz, the two put their talents together and released their first album A Portrait of Dissonance as a Young Man under the name Rye Pines, which Maguire says is a portmanteau of rye whiskey and pine trees before quipping that “a lot of thought obviously went into it.”
The next year, the two followed up with another album Dead Ocean which saw the group exchange the melodic and pop driven sensibilities of the first album for darker and more resonant atmospheric songs. After releasing Dead Ocean, the duo brought on Michael Pando as a touring drummer who went on to join them in the studio as well.
Almost three years later, the group is back with a new album that moves the band closer to their companions in the Allston rock scene like Zip Tie Handcuffs and the Nice Guys. Roll with the Urchins is a big album. For starters, every song title is written in all caps, and in a departure from the first two albums, Maguire is throwing all of the energy he has behind his guitar riffs to match Page’s enthusiastic drumming. Songs like “SPIDERBACK BOOGIE” and “WHATEVS JESUS” are bombastic, heavy tracks that fuse punk-paced, heavy metal riffs with a garage rock aesthetic that leaves the album sounding comfortingly familiar to fans of the genre. Fans of Rye Pines’ previous work, however, shouldn’t consider Roll with the Urchins a complete paradigm shift for the band, but rather the next phase of a transformation that began on Dead Ocean, as can be heard on tracks like “SHOALS,” which sees the group returning to emphasizing Maguire’s laid back vocals over a more melodic albeit still very lo-fi groove.
On Friday, the trio joined Boston Public Radio for a live performance in addition to participating in the weekly BPR tradition: the news quiz. Unfortunately, due to some technical malfunctions, which the band graciously worked around, they weren’t able to play all of the songs they had planned, but those who are curious can head to their website to stream the whole album online now or listen to it on Spotify.