Published on September 19th, 2013 | by Ballard Lesemann


Metronome Charleston Anniversary: Boring Portals

Earlier in the summer, when Metronome Charleston started approaching local bands about performing at this week’s anniversary show at the Tin Roof, the Boring Portals quickly came to mind. We loved their reverb-soaked garage-rock sound, surf guitar riffs, and off-kilter pop leanings. And we loved the fact that they’re a rock ‘n’ roll fulcrum from which several other cool Lowcountry bands pivot.


Scott Dence of the Boring Portals (photo by Jessica Mickey)

The band formed two years ago after like-minded multi-instrumentalists Scott Dence (of Sans Jose, Dumb Doctors) and Brett Nash (also of Sans Jose, Southern Femisphere, the Specs, Company, and other projects) began writing and recording trashy/poppy material as a duo. They quickly tracked a stack of originals and started performing around town with fill-in guests. Joel T. Hamilton (of Mechanical River) signed on last year to handle keyboards and etxra guitar, and bassist Emily Connor (or Southern Femisphere) completed the lineup shortly after.

The Portals have already released two collections of noisy stuff on Bandcamp.com. The nine-song set Newer Slow (2012) includes the simple disclaimer, “Not really an album.” Spring Break Tour Tape = P Baby Dreds, another nine-song blast posted on Bandcamp.com last March, sounds slightly less lo-fi and much more freaked-out. With a few extra effects and a nudge of trash-punk energy, it demonstrates the band’s current sound with Hamilton’s organ and synthesizer and the Nash/Dence intensity.

Both albums bounce and stomp with plenty of weird chord progressions, scary verses, shouty choruses, nightmare organ tones, pummeling bass lines, and bashy drum fills.

“My goal is to make some records that actually look good so people will want to buy them based on how shiny and professionally packaged they are,” Dence tells Metronome Charleston.


The Boring Portals at the Roof: Joel Hamilton, Emily Conner, and Brett Nash up front (photo by Jessica Mickey)

“I want us to find a practice space and release a full-length album,” Hamilton says of their next major artistic goals for the year. “We will use the unique and abundant power of will that is inside each of us.”

As a foursome, the band has tightened up quite a bit this year. Nash and Dence often switch between guitar and drum duties, and the chemistry is pretty intense either way (they played a full set at the Recovery Room as a drum/guitar duo earlier this week, opening for Dence’s Dumb Doctors).

The Boring Portals will co-headline the Metronome Anniversary Party on Fri. Sept, 20 at the Tin Roof, hitting the stage around 12:15 a.m. or so (right after Elim Bolt’s set). Beware: some of those Dence/Nash riffs might go for the jugular.

What might be the most entertaining aspect of their set? “The most exciting thing to happen at the anniversary party will be when Brett Nash explodes into the drum solo from ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’ by the Who,” says Dence. “Before our set, he will secretly pack your bass drum full of explosives, and while he plays the drum solo we will have a giant metronome clicking at 120 b.p.m., and if Brett drops the tempo, the explosives will detonate. I trust him.”

Visit boringportals.bandcamp.com and facebook.com/BoringPortals for more.

“Free” (from early demos)

      1. Free – Boring Portals


Boring Portals at the Tin Roof (photo by Jessica Mickey)




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About the Author

Ballard Lesemann

is a musician and writer. Born and raised in Charleston, S.C., he spent years playing in bands and working for Flagpole Magazine in the bustling music town of Athens, Ga. He returned to his hometown and served more than seven years as the Charleston City Paper's music editor. He's better at drumming than he is at playing guitar.

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