Rock music comes from a variety of backgrounds. It can start with an artist from the rough side of town needing an avenue to express their emotions relating to what they’ve been through. It also can come from the blue-collar lifestyle with unapologetic sounds and a no frills structure. What the ears hear after the play button gets pressed relates to the human psyche and the nerves are obliged feel an instant shock. That’s what Boston’s Mill Pond Falls have going on with their self-titled debut EP, an Americana-kissed, guitar-pop collection of barroom earworms that dropped last month but gets the release party treatment this Thursday (June 30) at Great Scott.
The quartet of Boston jazz fixture Joe McMahon on vocals and guitar, Eric Edmonston adding to the shred with a six-string of his own, bassist Ben Karnavas, and drummer Max Toste (also known as co-owner of the Allston watering hole Deep Ellum), combine to create scintillating music that goes straight for the soul. Producer Ed Valauskas, engineer extraordinaire Pat DiCenso, and Tom Polce and Dave Collins on the mixing and mastering duties assisted with the exquisiteness of Mill Pond Falls’ EP along with Rafi Sofer handling additional recording tasks at Q Division Studios in Somerville.
“When we went into Q Division, I had written a hand full of songs and enlisted some of my best friends to help me realize them,” McMahon says of the recording process. “Recording with Ed and Pat was really organic and super fun. The plan was two songs but we ended up cutting four. It was an incredibly productive and amazing day of making music with my friends.”
EP opener “Falling Down” brings a deep tone and a forceful thud that melds with a rhythmic tightness from start to finish. The flurry of guitar solos and a nice brief breakdown makes the track a pristine introduction to the EP. Reminiscent of vintage alternative rock acts like Buffalo Tom and Superchunk, “Lockdown” has a harmonious vibe while sending the message of straying from the same old and yearning for something new. An ode to bar culture is the theme of “Last Call”, it’s a catchy number for the barflies and the bartenders. Tanya Donelly adds backing vocals on “Four Roses”, another bar anthem about trying to get one more glass of whiskey before the trek home and the aftermath.