Who: The Bad Popes (EP release show)
Where: Smiley’s Acoustic Café, 111 Augusta St., Greenville
When: Tuesday, July 16 at 10 p.m.
Still Running, the new EP by the Upstate’s own Bad Popes, is the furthest the band has yet gone into Western-swing-influenced country music, emphasizing the always-brilliant Mike Bagwell’s pedal-steel playing and blending Jef Chandler and Charles Hedgepath’s acoustic and electric guitars nicely. The songs, most of which were written by Chandler, are tight, incredibly catchy and focused, and there’s even an unexpected cover of The Bellamy Brothers’ “Let Your Love Flow” thrown in. Hedgepath says that the EP is, at least partially, the result of Chandler’s long recovery from a broken pelvis back in 2018. “When he came back, this EP was one of his goals,” Hedgepath says. “He’d basically been through hell and he wanted to put it out, and we were all supportive of that. This was definitely Jef coming through a bad situation and having something to show for it. Jef had a lot of time to sit and think about stuff, and as soon as he gets going, you can’t stop him from writing. He wakes up and there are songs next to him.”
Who: Quiet Hollers, w/ The Head and Revelator
Where: Radio Room, 110 Poinsett Hwy., Greenville
When: Thursday, July 11 at 8 p.m.
Tickets: $10 adv., $13 dos.
Isolation Is Inspiration, the new EP by the Upstate band Revelator, coalesces around a striking tune called “Rage.” Over riff-heavy hard rock, singer Jon Rasmussen sends out a call to arms to those who feel oppressed by our current political climate. “We’ve been told we have irrational fears,” he sings, “As they shackle us in chains/Beaten down in the cold of winter/Abandoned without names.” Most of the rest of the EP follows suit, blending righteous lyrical anger with slashing riffs and pounding rhythms. “I’m not sure it was a conscious decision or a reaction to everything that’s going on around us,” Rasmussen says of the EP’s lyrical themes. “That’s where ‘Rage’ came from, and there was more of a focus after we had that. It kind of set the stage because I was more in that headspace.” Rasmussen adds that the elemental hard rock surrounding the words on Isolation Is Inspiration were meant to heighten the message. “The lyrics are very straightforward, so we wanted the music to mimic that,” he says. “We didn’t want to hide behind anything; we wanted to lay it out there.”
Who: SubDocta, w/ Xtals, Kirby Bright and Peter Repeet Tomayo
Where: The Firmament, 5 Market Point Dr., Greenville
When: Saturday, July 13 at 8 p.m.
You may think you’re familiar with the many permutations of electronic dance music (EDM), but you might not have heard of “West Coast Wobble.” That’s the preferred genre of Preston Charles, aka SubDocta. Charles first burst on the EDM scene in 2016 with a singular brand of dubstep, one that blends spidery, skeletal melody lines, distorted vocal samples and absolutely devastating bass. The overall effect is a sort of strobe-lit, funhouse mirror version of dance music, where the moments of beguiling melody lull the listener into a false sense of calm before the megaton bomb of bass hits. It’s a startling sound, and one that’s gained SubDocta support from EDM-dubstep heavies like Bassnectar, Riot Ten and Ganja White. It’s also landed Charles some prime stage time at festivals like Valhalla, Infrasound and Bass Camp. Charles has also been an incredibly prolific recording artist, releasing four EPs and multiple singles in the last three years.