Hotline TNT played Arts at the Armory – 4/11

Buzz-y, fuzz-y rockers Hotline TNT headlined a spirited show at Somerville’s Armory with Cicada and Rabid Few.


Are Hotline TNT a shoegaze band? Who cares, ultimately, but some drive-by internet discourse on the topic had me thinking about it during last Thursday’s Somerville show – the band’s first locally (correct me if I’m wrong on that) since linking up with Third Man Records and dropping last year’s widely-hyped Cartwheel. In sound, which rained down in blissfully-distorted triple-guitar sheets throughout the cavernous Armory – I think the quintet led by singer/guitarist Will Anderson does land pretty comfortably in the punkish Swirlies corner of the shoegaze spectrum. And in execution, “punkish” also covers it – which is to say that Thursday’s set involved considerably more airtime, questionable stage-dives and general movement than downward gazing. A sizable and youthful crowd was all-in on the set, and the band gave them plenty of energy right back. And the songs! The songs rock, of course. Cartwheel boasts no shortage of inviting, effortlessly hook-y tunes, and we got plenty of those amidst earlier EP and LP tracks – with some like opener “Protocol” leaning into extended intros/outros/jam sections seemingly for the pure joy of the tones. What’s more shoegaze than that?

Opening the show, to a mixture of surprise, delight and confusion amongst the crowd, were a pair of hardcore bands in speedy local trio Rabid Few and Richmond, VA’s furiously heavy Cicada. We love a mixed genre bill, and apart from nearly getting taken down during Cicada’s set (which was mostly my fault for not staying vigilant), both bands were a blast. Per usual, scroll for a gallery below.