Buddyship: The Fruits of Swampscott

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"Swampscott offers a friendly, welcoming and nurturing family environment, an excellent pre-school to grade 12 public educational system, superb public safety and support systems, abundant youth sports opportunities and a town government which is responsive to the needs of its citizens." It also spawned many world class entertainers, and number of noise and metal bands, the mightiest of which is Buddyship. The Buddyship is comprised of Adam Taber (AxTx),Jeremy Harris and Jeff Hartford. They play improvised metal with a heavy influence from the Providence noise scene. Oh yeah, and they destroy!!!!

"Swampscott reached worldwide status as the place where Ebenezer Thorndike invented the lobster pot in 1808 to revolutionize lobster harvesting." The name Swampscott, is of Native American origin, most probably from M’sqiompsk, meaning red rock. In DIY freak culture it means, "the place where all the weirdest most talented weirdos are from." This includes Swampscott super-stars such as David Lee Roth, Boston ("more than a feeling!"), Florence Henderson and Dabny Coleman. Lesser known Swampscott celebrities include Necronomitron and Hard Drug drummer Jesus Crust, Scott Jacobs (who does the Cotton K's with Jer Harris), and Valerie Allen who performs as Val and plays all over the country singing echo-y reverb-ed out feedback pieces that are coldly emotive. There must be something in the water there.

Jer Harris described his and AxTx's transformation from innocent Swampscott-resident-eleven-year-old-soccer-kids to ruthless heavy metal villains thusly, "Yes, we played soccer together for half a season then decided we liked Deicide and smashing peoples property at night better and so intuitively our lives took that turn within a month or so. We played in separate bands for years and didn't actually play together until we both joined USA is a Monster in June of 2000." At that point USA is a Monster was a seven-piece freak out band which came together in Charlottesville's legendary Pudhaus space. (rip) Nowadays, these Buddyship guys are some of the sweetest and, creative folks I know. AxTx recorded a solo acoustic record at Monkeyclaus a few years back, which is riveting and gorgeous. Jeremy Harris records solo as Laz

y Magnet, an uber prolific ongoing project with an extensive discography. I got his most recent tape "Die Fast" at the Buddyship show and it is brilliant. He described it as "new age" as he handed it off, but i find it to be more diabolical, haunting, epic and weirdly well-crafted. Some moments reminded me off The Residents' Eskimo album. Jeremy was also in the semi-legendary and short lived Dynasty with Chris Forgues (of Kites), Carlos Gonzales (Russian Tsarism, Byron House), and Ren Schofield (God Willing). They recorded two amazing 7 inches called "Gate" and "Animal Disregard", completely

brown out and mixed with upside-down sunglasses guarding all the bands eyes. "Animal Disregard is out of print but "Gate" is still available from the Load website in limited quantities. Jeff Hartford, the Buddyship vocalist, also does a great solo project called Noise Nomad.

Buddyship played in Charlottesville recently as the headliner for a quadruple header rock show. First up was Nate of the Ultra Dolphins doing his one man band, Gull. He sings and plays guitar and drums simultaneously. See it to believe it. He even covered Bill Withers. Bad Ass! Next was Blue Shift who unleased a violent and crazed 4 minutes of solo violin noise, which was crazy intense and totally satisfying. Local stoner metal duo Red Wizard then broke it down, with 4.5 cabinets per band member. Their shit was heavier than "soul knitting". That is heavy heavy!


Buddyship is most memorable for what they did to the hair in the room. Vocalist Jeff Hartford, swings his "do" around rodeo style between kicking his effects pedals all around and screaming bloody murder. The crowd followed suit. At times one could see a synchronized "headbang" with amazing precision that was completely not contrived, rather simply guided by the diabolical grooves of the Buddyship. Jeremy seemed blissed out in "guitarmageddon", his face towards the ceiling and eyes shut as the riffs poured forth like a mighty river of metal. AxTx was like an uncaged animal whose rhythms were arcane, yet somehow easy to groove to???
The total Buddyship experience is amazing because it is rooted in a cosmic link, a hidden shared mental space, a precision, an abandon, and tap water from Swampscott, Massachusetts.


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