Nina Corcoran

For years, Kal Marks was the loudest band in Boston. Though it's hard to fathom, as bands like Pile hammered away on post-hardcore songs and Guerilla Toss shrieked through electronics-driven art-rock, Kal Marks charged through songs of exhaust and hopelessness from behind a wall of amps, a fervor that other artists couldn't match. The trio prioritized volume over all else — it's been their shtick, if it's fair to call it that — and frontman Carl Shane has no problem saying such.

Every Boston band starts in a basement, but not every Boston band hopes to leave one. Bad History Month, a glum anti-folk act that formed there back in 2007, has never been concerned with fame. For starters, the band's music uses a combination of ribald jokes, effervescent self-deprecation and blunt existentialism focused on understanding oneself from the inside out in service of isolation — assuming the position of the middle school loner in the back of a classroom.