Local bands bring the rock back to Boston

by Beacon Staff • October 11, 2006

In case you were wondering, it's not.

Emerson alumni (class of 2002) Foster Hoyt (vocals and guitar) and Jason Edmands (bass) and Boston College grad Brian Rusnica (drums) make up this energetic three-piece band.,Allston-based band The New Dumb recently released its rock/punk-infused debut EP This Could Be Disastrous.

In case you were wondering, it's not.

Emerson alumni (class of 2002) Foster Hoyt (vocals and guitar) and Jason Edmands (bass) and Boston College grad Brian Rusnica (drums) make up this energetic three-piece band.

Formed in 2003, The New Dumb name Fugazi, mclusky, Ween, Weezer and The Hives as influences for its completely original and random compositions.

On the song "Rather," a strange ode to the ex-CBS news anchor Dan Rather, lyrics such as "most people would rather smile / but Dan Rather's been 'round a while" showcase the band's humorous side.

Hoyt's vocals aren't exactly harmonious, but they fit the energy of each song on the EP. It's sometimes tough to understand what he is singing, but that's the norm in this genre and is forgivable.

On "Cross-Eyed Bear," Hoyt powers up for the chorus but ends the song with a mellower voice.

"Princess" is a fast-paced song with a memorable hook, and "Awfully Good" has a catchy guitar riff.

"Colossal" is one of the better songs on the EP, with simple lyrics and a good chorus; "Unbelievably Unsuccessful" sounds like it would be successful as a radio single.

It's vaguely reminiscent of The Rasmus' "In the Shadows," with a more hardcore sound.

It's clear The New Dumb would rather be singing about pure randomness then about the typical love and heartbreak of most indie bands of today.

And with that band name, it's obvious the members aren't pretentious.

In an interview with The Beacon, Rusnica said "The New Dumb" is the name of a chapter in one of gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson's books.

"We picked it from a list of 200 names," Rusnica said.

As for his favorite show The New Dumb has ever played, Rusnica said the This Could Be Disastrous record release party in July at Great Scott in Allston was definitely number one.

"We played some older songs there, and the audience knew the words," he said. "It was a full-circle kind of moment."

The band had previously self-released a 13-song demo in 2003 entitled My Mom Has 20 Copies.

This Could Be Disastrous is The New Dumb's first actual full-length release, and is a completely do-it-yourself project.

"We went to the studio to record," said Rusnica. "But we did the [album cover] design and packaging by ourselves, and printed them ourselves."

The result: a great EP that needs to be played loud-with the bass up-to be truly appreciated.