Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
On Friday, November 6, Olde Club will welcome Swarthmore alumnus Pat Kolodgy ’09 back to its stage as as part of Handglops, a pop-punk band. Handglops will be joining Little Girls in opening for the Blank Dogs.
Kolodgy began the Handglops project at Swarthmore in 2008 by updating songs he had written in high school in Toledo, Ohio, and changing them from clean power-pop songs to “noisier stuff”. The songs are mostly about teenagers and the weekend and in 2009, Handglops put out their first album, titled Ronk Ng Rool.
Ronk Ng Rool received several positive reviews. As Auxiliary Out wrote: “I really dig Kolodgy’s songs particularly because… they’re always buried in copious amounts of fuzz. To my knowledge, the term ‘noise pop’ has never been so specifically (or literally) realized than on this album.” Impose Magazine wrote: “The feedback and fuzz is so huge and combative a part of these tracks that they comprise a sort of internal orchestra…in the vacuum where these songs exist, there’s a horde of animated tape reels doing battle with six foot long lances made solely of static electricity.”
Even Pitchfork, the influential and notoriously critical internet publication, praised Ronk Ng Rool by giving it a 7/10 and writing: “_Ronk Ng Rool_ reads (and sounds) like a recollection of one really rockin’ Friday night, so blacked-out and blasted that all that’s left are the barest intimations of what followed what…Whatever happened, though, [Kolodgy] wrote this perfect encapsulation of that moment when the night goes from sweet to sour…Or maybe the moral of the story is that…we shouldn’t forget how awesome those parties are”.
Kolodgy was surprised by the reviews’ interpretation of his music. He said, “I always just want to say it is just pop music. But when reviews started coming out they were saying the songs were like ‘walls of formless noise’ that really surprised me. I guess the songs are not always clear. When we go live, though, it’s really poppy”.
While Kolodgy is happy with the reviews, he says that the radio support is what he really appreciates and he credits his receiving a record deal to the radio play. At one point, Handglops had the most played album at WHPK Chicago and the album has been played everywhere from Seattle to Philadelphia.
Recently, Kolodgy has been recording new songs and is set to release a split tape with the Sea Lions on Obeast Tapes, which he is very proud of and he is hoping to put it out on vinyl as well. Kolodgy additionally recorded a solo set over the phone for Phone It In on KDVS that can be heard here. Kolodgy’s future plans include forming a band to tour during the spring and summer.
This Friday, Kolodgy will perform with current Swarthmore students Josh Glickenhaus ’12 on bass and Zach Weinstein ’11 on drums. Kolodgy is looking forward to playing and watching the other acts.
“I have loved Blank Dogs since their first record — a trip through the WSRN library reviews will confirm this — so playing with them is way cool. Plus it’s a friendly audience. I came down this past weekend and me and Zach and Josh practiced the set and it sounds great. It’s gonna be tons of fun!”
Be sure to head to Olde Club Friday night to check out Kolodgy and the rest of the featured bands.