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Psychedelic Exit: Guillermo Sexo say farewell after 12 years of ambitious guitar-rock

 
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Every September 1, we pay a lot of attention to all the students and newcomers arriving in our city. But like those zombie apocalypse films that show one side of the highway jammed with traffic, there’s always one or two cars headed in the other direction. This summer the Boston music scene has experienced a bit of a mini-exodus; Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling’s Michael J. Epstein and Sophia Cacciola headed out to Los Angeles a few weeks ago, and Band Without Hands’ Jess Jacobs follows suit after her group’s final show Friday at Once Ballroom.

Across the river at O’Brien’s Pub in Allston, another long-standing musician waves goodbye, as Guillermo Sexo plays their final show September 2, a result of guitarist Reuben Bettsak relocating with his family to Atlanta. The Guillermo Sexo finale marks the end of a 12-year run one of the city’s most trusted and enduring homegrown acts, a band that has evolved since 2004 but remained a constant in the psych and garage rock circles.

“It’s definitely sad that Friday is our last show,” Bettsak tells Vanyaland. “I always wanted Guillermo Sexo to keep going and going. I am proud of the amount of albums we’ve been able to make, and am proud of the albums …and am proud of the music we’ve made together.

That output concludes with Eclipse, Guillermo Sexo’s final LP released in April by Midriff Records. But looking back, the effort and output of Guillermo Sexo — starting in 2006 with debut LP Oh Wow, release two years after they first formed — was extraordinary, and helped craft and shape the booming indie-psych, noise-pop, and fuzz scene that is celebrated every summer at the Middle East’s jam-packed Fuzzstival.

Over the next several years the band released a string of killer albums — connecting various, often disjointed corners of the Boston music scene — including 2008’s Magic Lanterns, 2010’s Vivid Nights, 2011’s Secret Wild, and 2013’s Dark Spring. Guillermo Sexo were a rare band that could play an Allston dance party one night, and then a Jamaica Plain house show the next — and fit in fine at both. Their 2013 EP, Bring Down Your Arms, remains a personal favorite (recommended listening: the explosive “Echo Out My Call”).

“I still have a lot of Guillermo Sexo songs in my cannons and can imagine getting together with everyone at some point in the future to record more music, and maybe even plays some shows,” Bettsak adds. “But I just moved to Atlanta with my family, and my twin boys, so it might be a bit before we do that. It’s scary trying to start over music wise in a new city, but will definitely will be making more music. It’s difficult leaving Boston, and I already miss my friends, all the great bands, and just the familiarity of it all. It’s such a great scene, and I will miss it.”

If there’s a sense of calm for Bettsak, it’s that he feels Guillermo Sexo ends, for now, on the right now, having delivered their best work just a few months ago.

“I think I’m probably the most proud of the new record, Eclipse,” he says. “I think [vocalist] Noell [Dorsey] and I really reached a common vision we’ve been working for years to attain. I feel like we accomplished a lot.”

GUILLERMO SEXO + GOLD MUSE + BROWN LASERS + ELEPHANTS :: Friday, September 2 at O’Brien’s Pub, 3 Harvard Ave. in Allston, MA :: 8 p.m., 21-plus, $8 :: Facebook event page :: Advance tickets

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