If there's one thing all those ice pickers and puddle jumpers on the East Coast have going for them, it's a rocking après-ski club scene. For the past couple years, one of the hottest acts in skidom has been Boston's Angry Salad. After a year touring with the likes of Cowboy Mouth, Vertical Horizon, and the Samples, these surly greens are returning to the Northeast ski circuit with their power pop fine-tuned to shake the timbers. Singer-songwriter Bob Whelan and company cull the best of '70s rock, punk, and folk on their self-titled major-label debut (on Blackbird/Atlantic); and on stage they blast through those tracks and add some great covers. Insist on Nena's "99 Red Balloons."
"There's a beautiful shotgun effect about playing the ski clubs," says Whelan of the band's annual blitz up I-93 and beyond. "The crowd is stoked from the slopes, it's snowing, and the wine is flowing." Veterans of the road, the band can bring the lights down low or blow the walls off. Look for them and other great ski bands like Fighting Gravity and the Pat McGee Band at places like the Snow Barn (Mount Snow), Bumps (Sunday River), Gallagher's (Sugarbush), and the Wobbly Barn (Killington).
Disc of the Month
THE KILLINGTONS, The Killingtons (Meg)
The Killingtons have nothing to do with the ski resort in Vermont, but this album is worth checking out anyway. Hailing from Long Beach, California, these guys play brawny, sweet-and-sour guitar rock, and they lay it on thick and slow like Sunny Day Real Estate, or like the Deftones on Valium and Twinkies. Lead singer JK (K for Killington, apparently¿hence the name) Thompson takes the edge off the guitars with his clear, plaintive tenor, and the full band frequently kicks into a soaring ballad mode that's downright relaxing.