Sunday, June 16, 2024

Hava Horowitz sings for Sidebody at the band’s Thursday record release show. (Photo: Lucy Spangler)

Somerville musicians Sidebody are back with their promised second album, “Full Time Job.” The band celebrated the release of “the world’s first sponge-based record” with a delightfully fun live show at Deep Cuts in Medford with support from Mint Green and MBTA announcer Wali Holly.

How does one make a sponge-based record? Take an ordinary sponge and attach a private Bandcamp link. In line with the idea that “time is a sponge,” this non-branded branding is very on theme for the band.

Sidebody formed during the solitude of the early days of the pandemic. Hava Horowitz, Lena Warnke, Martha Schnee and Cara Giaimo rotate between instruments and vocals, creating a eclectic mash-up of synths, call-and-response, octave-jumping vocals and groovy bass that is the Sidebody sound. “Full Time Job” is unapologetically weird and wacky, and we love it.

They began their set with the first track off the album, “He’s Dead,” a bass-driven song accented with twanging guitar riffs and a shouting chorus repeating the phrase “I’m sorry he’s dead!” This song is a great introduction to the band – terrific without taking itself too seriously. They accented the final shouts of “he’s dead” by dropping dramatically to the floor of the stage, puppets whose strings are cut.

Wali Holly, the voice of the MBTA, is a guest at Sidebody’s record release show. (Photo: Lucy Spangler)

“Quantumly Entangled” is the second track on the album and the second song on the setlist (they played the album in track order). The high-jumping vocals of the chorus and call-and-response lyrics in the verses translate perfectly to live performances; the campy energy is infectious, and you have to dance along. They also showed off the softer side of their discography with tracks such as “Not Dead (in Natick),” a harmony-heavy song that lets the vocals shine alongside gentle acoustic strumming.

Between songs, the band raffled off copies of the record – via sponge – to audience members with weirdest-old-job stories. The highlights included a bakery selling sex-themed cookies and a warehouse video shoot full of Russian men playing with Barbies.

The a cappella performance of the album’s penultimate track, “Cannot Believe,” hypnotic when performed live, confirmed Sidebody can truly do it all, including make a show electric with just their voices. Sidebody is an ensemble band, with no fronter demanding attention; instead, every member’s contribution to the sound is recognized.

They also performed songs off of their 2022 album “Sidebody.” “Up/down” and “Show Me Your Face” got the crowd shouting and moving. After exiting the stage, Sidebody was summoned back seconds later to answer the crowd’s calls for an encore. Closing out the night was “Pebble,” with just enough surf rock in it (and a literal little rock) to serve as a good summoning to summer.