New Sounds: Evolfo get down and dirty with the grit and glory of ‘Rat City’


Studio 52 is a community artist space located in the heart of Allston, and is proud to support the Boston music scene and local artist community.

Seven years ago, Matt Gibbs was picked up by the police in Allston. The frontan and ringleader for Boston-born, Brooklyn-based Evolfo says the details behind the pick-up are a long story, and not necessarily relevant anymore. But what a police officer said to him has stuck with him to this very day.

“I was handcuffed in the back seat and one officer turns around to me and asks, ‘You know what we call Allston down at the precinct?'”, Gibbs tells Vanyaland. After a dramatic pause, came the answer every freshman learns 15 minutes after first stepping off the Green Line: “RAT. CITY.”

While Gibbs knew the neighborhood’s nickname, he was a bit confused by the offer’s intent.

“He thought that was super impressive or intimidating or something,” he adds. “Maybe he was simply alerting me to the fact that there are lots of rats in the neighborhood, or maybe he thought of us weenie college boys as vermin. He didn’t really explain himself. The truth was I liked the idea of myself as a big rat-man, scurrying frantically around Allston. Possibly administering vigilante justice on cops and frat bros alike.”

Today, Evolfo get dirty with Allston on their minds with a new video for “Rat City,” another jangle-mad cut off last month’s Last Of The Acid Cowboys LP. The video, where a giant rat terrorizes city streets, was directed by Gibbs with Amie Schow. And the track is a barreling rickshaw of sound, a danceable number that doubles as extra aural motivation to either outrace the rats, or take them head on. “Our song kind of has a Batman quality like that I think,” Gibbs adds. “I imagine fighting people in sync with the horn section stabs, like old-school Batman style.”

While the video was filmed in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Gibbs is clear that the song is a homage to the band’s beloved former stomping grounds.

“More than anything else this song is dedicated to the city that birthed Evolfo,” he says. “This is a love song for Allston where we spent four years playing music in basements and living rooms while we got in trouble and got to know one another. We played our first shows at Allston basement parties; in long gone venues like the Secret House of Pancakes or in Ringer Park for Allston DIY fest. Here’s a nice cheesy quote for you: ‘You can take the Evolfo out of Rat City but you can’t take the Rat City out of Evolfo.'”

We’re gonna string that quote up in lights across the intersection of Harvard and Brighton avenues. Watch “Rat City” below, and check out all Evolfo’s upcoming live dates, including a June 30 homecoming at Brighton Music Hall in — where else? — Allston Rat City.

Featured Evolfo photo by Liz Maney.

Evolfo Live Dates 2017:
June 17: Norfolk, VA – Bold Mariner Brewing Company
June 18: Philadelphia, PA – Ortlieb’s
June 22: Brooklyn, NY – Pizzafest 4 @ The Gutter
June 30: Boston, MA – Brighton Music Hall
July 1: Norwich, CT – Rose Arts Festival @ Strange Brew
July 21: Brooklyn, NY – Our Wicked Lady Rooftop
July 23: St Johnsbury, VT – Levitt Amp Music Series @ Dog Mountain
August 19: Milton, NY – Toe Jam Music Festival