The New Highway Hymnal, Mark Sultan, Bent Shapes, Banditas, the BFs -- This Sat. 5/12 @ PA's

Blackened Hands - the New Highway Hymnal from Tim Oxton on Vimeo.

The New Highway Hymnal have been at it for around a year now and they’re a great group of musicians. Comparisons to Black Rebel Motorcycle Club are called for, but unjustified. The throbbing garagey rifts are there, but lead singer Hadden Stemp is channeling some Mick Jagger-cool here in its primordial phase. Last year, I wrote something along the lines of “Good job guys, but spend a little time playing shows and getting confident,” (I would look this up but it’s not that important) but hot damn if they haven’t gone above and beyond that.

Bassist Amelia Gormley has progressed nicely and totally plays the shy babe. I chatted briefly outside PA's Lounge with guitarist Lukas Goudreault on Friday night at Deep Heaven Now 5. It’s so awesome to talk to someone who is so passionate and enthusiastic about playing, as opposed to the too-hip disaffected musician. Drummer Travis Hagan does a damn good job of tapping out solid, sometimes poppy, most times firmly danceable-yet-dirty a la smokey lousiana blues club. Smoosh this whole sound through some reverb and it makes for some solid whiskey drinking tunes.

They join national garage giant Mark Sultan, and local giants Bent Shapes (née Girlfriends), Banditas and the BFs this Saturday, May 12, at PA's Lounge in Somerville.--Chris Saenz