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This Little Underground

Photo: Christopher Garcia, License: N/A

Christopher Garcia

A standout among the several non-native acts featured was Maryland's Dirty Names, who are rock & roll purists to a throwback degree – nothing past the '70s, thank you very much. But that also means they pack tons of flair and swag. Although they paint squarely inside traditional lines, they do it with bright, splashy color and lots of soul. And they pour it all out onstage.

Pacesetting heavy music promoter 90 Proof Productions managed to bring outstanding Boston stoner doom band Elder here for the first time (June 24, Peacock Room). Many heavy bands this melodically ambitious run the risk of compromising their balls. Not Elder. Not in the least. Instead, their astoundingly dimensional 10-ton odysseys roll over a room like towering clouds of reefer smoke in a slow-mo tumble. All fuzz and tonnage, man.

Changing frontmen is a seismic thing, and it's what local opener Fire in the Cave recently did. First, it's not easy to step into the raging blast chamber of FITC's sound and make a dent, period. Furthermore, the physicality and roar of original singer Jared Oates leaves big lungs to fill. But after seeing them twice with new growler Josh Mazorra (of Infinite Earths), it turns out he can bring just as much thunder and wildness to the floor while their complex metal continues to unfold.

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