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Boston, MA | Established. Jan 01, 2013 | SELF

Boston, MA | SELF
Established on Jan, 2013
Band Metal Post-punk


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Chaotic Boston quartet Dent enjoys freedom of expression"

Watching the quartet known as Dent isn’t a passive show-going experience as much as it is an immersive one; the noise the group creates collectively surrounds and attacks the listener, with vocalist Lane Shi creating a force field around as much of the room as she can reach. Dent’s music twists and turns thrillingly, in part because its process is very band-centric, with shards of ideas coming from Shi, guitarist Harley Cullen, bassist Tristan Allen, and drummer Jack Whelan.

“It’s really collaborative,” said Cullen over beers with his bandmates at the Avenue in Allston. “I’ll bring in a riff, or Lane will have an idea, and we’ll piece it together, and then Jack will be, like, ‘What if we do this this way?’ I guess it makes sense that our songs verge on proggy.”

“There’s a heavy emphasis on arrangement when riffs are brought to the whole group,” Whelan interjected. “A lot of the songs in their infancy were a little more simple, and as we have all the pieces and we start arranging them, they get into these bordering-on-erratic, jagged arrangements.”

All four members of Dent went to Berklee College of Music; Shi and Cullen met in a workshop, where she asked him if he liked to make “weird music with pedals,” to which he answered, “of course.” Whelan came into the picture in 2013, and Allen joined earlier this year.

As Shi’s query might indicate, Dent’s music is chaotic and loud, full of hairpin turns and blasts of noise. Its new album, “Eyeballs” (www.dent, captures the group’s energy well; “Anything Jingles” has a jittery energy about it, while “Do You?” is animated by Cullen’s pummeling, echoing riffs, over which Shi caterwauls and wails. On record, Shi is kinetic and yowling; live, she electrifies whatever room she’s headlining with her charisma.

“I was actually a very naughty little girl, but a lot of things that happened silenced me, and I became very shy and silent during middle school and high school,” said Shi, who moved to the United States from China in 2010. “I’ve always had this passion to speak out and release myself. My influences are very largely based on Chinese and Mongolian singing — that free kind of mindset that you should sing without boundaries. If you sing with nature, nature really responds back.

“In terms of bands, I really loved [the British noise-metal act] Queenadreena, and when I saw [lead vocalist KatieJane Garside] on YouTube, I thought, How can you be so reckless and do what you want to do?” Shi continued. “It makes me want to just go out and express myself. Living in China, I was really silent — I didn’t talk to my parents and friends a lot. Living here, I started to open myself up, and I got an awesome group of friends. I would say that sometimes I am very shy, for language reasons, and all my music speaks my mind.”

Earlier this summer, Dent embarked on a 14-city tour of China that spanned the country, traveling around by train. Shi, who hails from Guangzhou, had only been to three other cities on the band’s itinerary. Whelan’s sister is from Fuzhou — not a tour destination, but a stop on the route between cities. “I got to go outside and have two drags of a cigarette and be, like, This is where my sister is from!” he recalled.

Dent booked the tour through friends of Shi’s who operate a Guangzhou-based booking and promotion agency called Fing3. “The past two times they [owned] venues, the government shut them down,” said Shi. “They moved to a factory and turned it into a seriously awesome venue [called SD Livehouse].”

Dent’s cavalcade of noise translated well to the overseas audiences. “The crowds loved us,” said Cullen. “The biggest crowd we had was on the last stop of the tour, which was really nice.” About 300 people attended that show, which was at a venue that had a skate park outside.

“I crowdsurfed for the first time in my life,” Shi said, smiling. Earlier, she had showed off a gorgeously rendered drawing of the performance made by someone who caught one of the band’s China shows. “I think we should contact them and see if we can use it for a T-shirt or something,” Whelan said.

Later this year, the Boston-based company Fitzross, which also put together a video for the “Eyeballs” title track, will release a documentary about Dent’s experiences in China. Right now, Dent is playing shows around Boston and working on a follow-up album. And the members are also going to follow up their joint travels with a more domestic experience.

“We live in separate places — the China trip was the biggest [communal] experience we have ever had,” says Shi. “But in September, we’re going to live together. So that will be truly interesting for us.” - The Boston Globe

"Dent - Eyeballs"

Eyeballs, the debut LP from Boston’s own Dent, is largely about vocals—that’s not to say that anyone aside from Lane Shi, the main mic destroyer, is bad, but her singing alone is such a strong draw that I would’ve listened even if she did an a cappella record.

Lane sounds like a strange hybrid of Karen O and Yasuko from Melt-Banana. If I could throw in an even more obscure reference, it would be Katie Jean Garside, the notoriously unstable vocalist of UK band Daisy Chainsaw (the frenetic energy of “Anything Jingles,” the album opener, seems to match that of Daisy Chainsaw’s own “Love Your Money”).

Much like with everyone listed above, her vocals are an acquired taste and take some time to get used to—she veers from sounding naive and childish to screaming her head off (often in the matter of the same song). Then there are moments where she simply sends chills down my spine—witness the strangled scream at the end of “So Red.”

Same can be said about Eyeballs overall—aural fast food this isn’t, and with all the low/quiet shifts and endless details it simply begs for repeated listening. In the words of Keith Flint and Liam Howlett, this baby definitely got a temper. - The Boston Hassle


Still working on that hot first release.


Feeling a bit camera shy