Blame It On Whitman

Live Review: Blame It On Whitman at O’Brien’s Pub in Allston, MA

Material: Humor-oriented pop punk with an emphasis on the punk, Blame It On Whitman is a fledgling act with passion to match. Their loud ‘n flashy tunes consistently highlight the amusement factor, never taking themselves overly seriously yet also remembering the value of a solid riff and memorable chorus. Aficionados of artists such as Green Day or Sex Pistols will observe common ground amid the triad’s whimsically frenetic anthems.

Musicianship: Many heavy acts substitute volume for talent. This isn’t the case with Whitman. Lead vocalist Max Davis shines best when electing to let his guitar truly rip. Bassist Dan Duffy also proves capable, throwing down captivating lines that surpass what usually passes for the low end of similar acts. Drummer Kevin Duffy is no slouch either, bashing out their spite-filled backbone. As a whole, the band maintain a delicate balance between well-rehearsed professionalism and anarchist abandon. That they were well mixed, vocals resting properly within the eye of the maelstrom, is sadly a rare treat.

Performance: Hardcore music is known for being short and sweet, but a 15-minute set is extreme. At just four or five songs, everything’s over in a flash. Presenting only original tunes, buffing their material with a cover or two would be acceptable. Still, Davis makes for an entertaining frontman who captivatingly thrashes about. He also keenly grasps audience interaction, calling out the group’s critical info while remembering to keep things jocular. “This song’s about having sex with someone’s mom. It’s a love song,” he deadpans before one number. “I didn’t get high before this and I’m fucking pissed about it,” he jibes later, keeping the mood equal parts comical and greasy.

Summary: As far as newbie acts go, Whitman excels. They display skill, desire, tunefulness and the critical showmanship necessary to survive. Although wet behind the ears, their youthful brio remains their strongest advantage. The pump’s been primed for them to use the base they’ve adeptly crafted to find their next level.

Players: Dan Duffy, bass, vocals; Max Davis, guitar, vocals; Kevin Duffy, drums, vocals