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A little bit of this, a little bit of that

Some Pulp’s brash ditties are freshly squeezed from ‘60s pop and glam rock.
Members of local band Some Pulp rehearse on Friday. Some Pulp will play at FMLY Fest this weekend.
Image by Lisa Persson
Members of local band Some Pulp rehearse on Friday. Some Pulp will play at FMLY Fest this weekend.

Some Pulp does not like Warren Zevon. When rattling off names of bands the group hates, Zevon joined the ranks of Sum 41 and Limp Bizkit. And even though Zevon’s inclusion is surprising, the band believes no explanation is necessary.

“We have a deep hatred for the Zevon,” vocalist Graham Barton said.

Some Pulp’s irreverence and acerbic edge set them apart from straight-ahead surf pop, yet the group channels the genre at its core. Their music is a sunny combination of doo-wop and glam rock, the sonic equivalent of a cup of Florida’s Natural orange juice. In their self-titled debut released in May, the campy testosterone of Marc Bolan meets the cheery jangle of the Crystals — two sounds more alike than their disparate roots would convey.

Since three-quarters of the band hails from Flint, Mich. (bassist Elliott Snyder comes from Rochester, Minn.), hard-hitting snarls of the state’s great rock ‘n’ roll tradition — such as MC5, the Stooges and Bob Seger — sneak their way into Some Pulp’s music.

This formidable stylistic combination garnered Some Pulp a spot in the FMLY Fest concert series at In the Heart of the Beast theater this Friday night.

FMLY Fest is an underground music and arts festival with a DIY bent. Minneapolis is the sixth city in America to hold a FMLY Fest, where bands based wherever the festival is organized play shows, while workshops and backyard barbeques dot the event’s schedule.

Besides their rising profile, Snyder’s connection with festival organizer Andy Todryk netted them the gig.

The band is still in its nascent stages. It began as a duo between Barton and drummer Dane Hoppe.

“We started [with] basement recordings,” Barton said. “We developed into playing little venues, opening up for people, just getting our place in the scene.”

Snyder came aboard after the release of their self-titled debut on Forged Artifacts. Guitarist Colin Sheffield joined in May.

McNally Smith College of Music served as the band’s incubator, where each of the foursome graduated as production majors. The formal schooling of a rock band may seem at odds with the heart of the genre, but the squad says that attending music school had its benefits.

Barton said the school taught him an amusing lesson: how to “not suck” and instead “how to rule.”

Based on their debut album, Some Pulp leans toward the latter. Most of the songs clock in at less than two minutes, except for the seven-minute long “Teenage Mess,” a slow, brooding track that captures the band’s ethos. High school may be a distant memory, but for the twenty-somethings, adolescence is an easy subject for them to write and play about.

“You can use your imagination a little more,” Sheffield said.

“And you’re older, and you can look back on little girlfriends,” Barton chimed in. “[And] why aren’t my shirts fitting. We hope the album will make people question why their shirts aren’t fitting.”

Joking aside, Some Pulp’s melodies capture the spirit of doo-wop.

And as they settle into their sound, Barton has found the perfect formula for how their songs will rule, instead of suck:

“[Use] song form from Metallica, lyricism from Linkin Park,” Barton said, “harmonies from ‘Dookie’ and ‘All Killer, No Filler’ and lower harmonies from Alice in Chains’ ‘Dirt.’”


Some Pulp as part of FMLY Fest
When: 6:50 p.m., Friday
Where: In the Heart of the Beast theater, 1500 E. Lake St., Minneapolis
Cost: $12-17


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