The Zells, Elemantra, Karrot Kake

Thu, Jun 30
7:00 pm 11:00 pm
Mohawk Place • 47 East Mohawk Street, Buffalo 14203


Having released projects titled Failure to Slide and No More HeroesThe Zells were already fluent in despondency before the storm of 2020 hit — so for once, something went right for these guys. The Pittsburgh quintet’s sophomore LP, Ant Farm, is not just their best, most refined, transfixing, and emotionally seizing project yet, but a uniquely articulate statement about our generational plight. Twelve songs that capture the nihilistic bleakness of toiling in an era of historic social inequality while the very institutions we’re indebted to crumble into the dusty terrain of a world that’s burning toward its apocalyptic conclusion.

The band — guitarist trio Frank DiNardo, Jackson Rogers and Phil Kenbok, bassist Roman Benty and drummer Tyler Gallagher — take turns singing about the dejected purgatory of struggling to get out of bed while simultaneously losing the capacity to dream. It’s the sort of downwardly mobile existentialism that could be yelled with a hardcore fury or strummed beneath mawkish folk coos, but The Zells use indie-rock as their medium, flipping a genre that’s historically been a playground for well-off kids to opine about their dorm-room insecurities into a microphone for working-class ennui.

Building upon their singular mesh of sounds — slumped-neck indie-rock, fizzy garage-rock, defiant post-punk, and puffy-white shoegaze rips — the gang drafted a personnel sheet of basement indie who’s who’s that doubles as a useful RIYL list. Adam Reich (Titus Andronicus), Jordyn Blakely (Smile Machine, Bartees Strange, Stove, Maneka), Davey Jones (Lost Boy ?) and RJ Gordon (Baked, Titus Andronicus) make musical cameos, while Gordon engineered and mixed the whole shebang and Big Ups’ Amar Lal mastered it. The Zells have been and always will be proudly lo-fi like their idols in Sebadoh and Guided By Voices, but the songs on Ant Farm sizzle, pop, thrash, and moisten the eyes in a way their previous recordings didn’t, and that’s largely thanks to the sleeker, roomier production.

Most crucially, it’s the elevated songwriting maneuvers that make Ant Farm feel like the album the band have spent the last half-decade working toward. “Mankey” and “Finnerty’s Dream” bask in The Zells’ comfort zone of Dinosaur Jr.-esque sheets of washy guitar noise, while “Payday” and “Hell Car” careen with an angry fervor, the latter boasting the spectacularly snotty mic-drop, “You should be the president since everybody wants you to die.” The inherent business of their three-guitar attack is toned down just a notch on these tracks, giving way to brilliant post-punk builds like the one in “JME,” a motorik gnashing about the “homicidal ideology” of a healthcare system that makes us choose between paying the electric bill or another dose of mood-stabilizing medication

“Truther Uncle” struggles to find sympathy in the worldview of a conspiracy theorist with valid motives but questionable conclusions, while “Suffer and Toil” coughs up hard truths — ”Nothing in life is free/You suffer and toil until you die/That’s how it’s always been/What? Do you think you’re better than history?” — and then washes it all down with a resilient “woo” and a sick guitar solo. There’s levity in this album, too. “Bryan Ray Trout, 1999” is an awesomely weird fantasy about hanging with Rose McGowan and getting in a fight with a drunken Skeet Ulrich, and every line is catchy enough to be the best hook they’ve ever written. “The Upside” is quite literally that, a strikingly beautiful folk-pop life crisis (“I’ve been feeling older all the time now”) with a weepy harmonica wail.

It all ends with a “Hard Reset,” the GBV-ish closer that offers up a double lesson in power-pop perfection and the frigid orthodoxy of Lady Liberty herself. “It was only just to show me, she don’t owe me anything,” Benty repeats with a chipper, nasally sing-song — and then it ends. Nope, not a damn thing. (by Eli Enis)

Event Organizer:

The Zells, Elemantra, Karrot Kake

something like address

The Zells, Elemantra, Karrot Kake



  • Mohawk Place

    47 East Mohawk Street Buffalo, New York 14203

    South Buffalo

    Music Venue / Night Club

  • Il Mulino

    465 Washington St. Buffalo, NY 14203 • $$




  • Electric Avenue Cafe

    300 Ellicott Ave. Buffalo, New York • $


    Dive Bar

  • Deep South Taco – Ellicott

    291 Ellicott St Buffalo, New York 14203 • $$



    Casual Table Service

  • Jaz & Jack’s

    36 Broadway Buffalo, New York 14203 • $$



    Fast Casual / Counter Service

  • The Lunch Box – Lafayette Court

    465 Main St Buffalo, New York 14203 • $

    South Buffalo

  • JJ’s Casa di Pizza

    11 E Mohawk St Buffalo, New York 14203 • $

    Buffalo FoodDeli-SandwichesItalianPizza


    Casual Table Service

  • Man-Aung Sushi

    14 Lafayette Square Buffalo, New York 14203 • $$



    Casual Table Service, Fast Casual / Counter Service

  • Tappo

    338 Ellicott St Buffalo, New York 14203 • $$

    ItalianWine Bar


    Casual Table Service

  • E Cafe

    487 Main St Buffalo, NY 14203 • $



    Cafe / Coffee Shop

  • City Fare Cafe of Buffalo

    477 Main St Buffalo, New York 14203 • $$


    South Buffalo

    Casual Table Service

  • Big Ditch Brewing Co.

    55 E Huron St Buffalo, New York 14203 • $$



    Casual Table Service

  • True Bean Coffee

    523 Main St Buffalo, NY 14203 • $$



    Cafe / Coffee Shop

  • Misuta Chow’s

    521 Main St Buffalo, New York 14203 • $$



    Casual Table Service, Bar

  • House Of Charm

    517 Washington St Buffalo, NY 14201 • $$

    Pub FoodAmerican



  • OSB Ciderworks

    517 Main St Buffalo , New York 14203 • $$




  • Buffalo Cigars – Buffalo

    500 Main Street Buffalo, New York 14202


  • The Flaming Fish

    535 Main St Buffalo, NY 14203 • $$

    SeafoodAmericanDeli-SandwichesSoul Food


    Fast Casual / Counter Service

  • Graylynn

    537 Main St Buffalo, New York 14203 • $$

    New American


    Casual Table Service

  • Coming Soon: Street Light Brasserie

    5 E Huron St Buffalo, NY 14203 • $



    Casual Table Service

  • Overwinter Coffee – Genesee

    9 Genesee St Buffalo, New York 14203 • $

    South Buffalo

    Fast Casual / Counter Service



Coming Events

Sponsored Placement

Resurgence to the Rescue

Sun, Jul 10
12:00 pm - 5:00 pm


Resurgence Brewing Company
55 Chicago Street Buffalo, 14204


Ten Lives Club and the City of Buffalo Animal Shelter are ready to spring into summer with the relaunch of the Resurgence to the Rescue pet photo contest ...

KeyBank Independence Night with the BPO & Joshua Vacanti

Mon, Jul 4
6:05 pm - 11:00 pm

Admission starts at: $25

Buffalo Bison’s Sahlen Field
One James D. Griffin Plaza Buffalo, 14203


After three years, the great Bisons summer tradition returns to Sahlen Field! Join us Monday, July 4 for the 26th Annual KeyBank Independence Night ...

4th of July Carnival at the Great Pumpkin Farm

Sat, Jul 2 - Mon, Jul 4
All Day

Admission starts at: $10

The Great Pumpkin Farm
11163 Main Street Clarence , 14031

North Towns

Celebrate July 4th at the Great Pumpkin Farm! SAT/ July 2nd – Open 12-9pm Ride all rides, play family friendly games, enjoy lots of great food, ...

U-Pick Lavender At Kin Loch Farms

Sat, Jul 2 +more dates
10:00 am - 2:30 pm

Admission starts at: $17

Kin Loch Farmstead
4299 Ridge Road, Lockport, 14094

Niagara County

Kin Loch is excited to offer our 4th season of u-pick lavender! Come harvest your own lavender in our front field where we grow 8 varieties of french and ...

Rolling Hills Asylum June Public Tours & Ghost Hunts

Thu, Jun 30
7:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Rolling Hills Asylum
11001 Bethany Center Rd East Bethany, 14054

Genesee County

Rolling Hills Asylum June Public Tour & Hunts! June 16th – 3 Hr Psych Hold 7pm – 10pm June 18th – Daytime Self Guided Tour 1pm – 3pm ...

Thirsty Thursdays

Thu, Jun 30 +more dates
5:00 pm - 8:00 pm


Becker Farms and Vizcarra Vineyards
3760 Quaker Road, Gasport NY Gasport, 14067

Niagara County

Thirsty Thursdays is back every Thursday night from 5-8pm in the Brewpub with pitcher specials and wing night! ...

Buffalo Brewery Tour on Buffalo Double Decker Bus

Fri, Jul 1 +more dates
7:00 pm - 9:15 pm

Admission starts at: $55

Buffalo Double Decker Bus Tours
12 Fuhrmann Boulevard Buffalo, 14203


Seneca Casinos Outer Harbor Concert Series featuring moe.

Thu, Jul 7
6:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Admission starts at: $24

Buffalo Waterfront
825 Fuhrmann Blvd Buffalo, 14203




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