The Mystery Of… (Matador)
by Paul Lee
They have been unleashed upon the music world to destroy all notions of peace and harmony. These four men who call themselves Kustomized seem so mild mannered until they hit the stage and then become veritable rock demons! O.K., so I’m over doing it a tad. The point being here that the newly formed band Kustomized are worthy of Boston’s jaded attention. They are veterans of the Boston rock ‘n’ roll wars and will not be overlooked even, if they don’t rewrite music history or chop up little animals.
I arrived at Mystery Train II in Boston where two of Kustomized members, Pete and Kurt toil (Ed too, but he wasn’t there). No sooner had I entered the store then a fusillade of somewhat chaotic, yet skillfully played music hit my ears. I was experiencing their raw and punk fueled sound. Now, on exactly who Kustomized are: Kurt was the manic singer of the now defunct Bullet LaVolta, and now displaces his energy upon the drums. Peter was drummer for Volcano Suns, and has now refocused his drive into being a vocalist and guitarist. Ed plays guitar and was formerly a violinist for a number of bands in the area. And, on bass is Bob, whose usual gear was the guitar. It seems that taking on new instruments will only challenge and strengthen Kustomized.
The idea for Kustomized came about after the dissolution of Volcano Suns. Pete had written a number of songs and even laid some stuff down in a studio. He knew Kurt and Ed from Mystery Train Records, and they jammed together. They had no particular plans to form a band. In fact, Pete says he merely wanted to hear his songs after being recorded. Something clicked for the four, and thus was born Kustomized.
They made their debut upon Boston not in the usual slot of opening band. They decided to chance it and headlined for two shows at the Middle East and one at T.T. The Bears. It seems that the crowd response was good. According to Kurt “It went really well, as good or better that we’d expected.”
Afterwards, Kustomized took off to Minneapolis to record their stuff at famed producer Steve Albini’s studio. The next trick is to sell their 14 songs to a label. With the current rejuvenation of punk and hardcore, it may be just the right time for Kustomized’s happily jarring sound.
I had the opportunity to be baptized by their audio fire (am I being overly dramatic again? Well deal!). Kustomized got to show their stuff at the famed (at least I think it is, but hey I’ve lived in DC for the past two years) and sweltering Causeway, near the Garden. Two or three other bands preceded Kustomized that I missed and as 12:30 rolled around, they took to the stage. I had an even better idea what Kustomized was all about musically and visually. They are basic in the good sense: T-shirts, jeans, no attitude, and a good sense of humor. The music can be best described as late ’70s punk influence with a slight smattering of ’60s guitar twang.
With songs like “Big Trick,” “It Lives,” “Hattie,” and “Rotten,” Kustomized sped along at a mostly frenetic pace. They were in their element at The Causeway and seemed to be fully enjoying their trade. The punk influenced rock ‘n’ roll that they churned out was a natural, happily cathartic release for the four Bostonians.
Kustomized are seasoned veterans of the Boston scene, so don’t expect them to have a “Boston sound” or a grunge image. Do prepare yourself for some primal and no-bullshit rock. You’ll hear about them more and more, so don’t delay, see them and be prepared to be run down by the Kustomized wall of sound.