Emotional Olympics

Curiously we start with a one-man-guitar show; the other Olympians were sadly trapped in the confines of the capital. He somehow manages to turn the dismembering sensation of lacking a full band into a melancholic exhibition that displayed some capable vocal abilities, featuring a bright falsetto, humming in the low register and even Black Francis whining, as well as the usage of gravity to extort sounds from a stationary tambourine and guitar playing that compliments the subject matter (your looks have faded?) being bestowed.

The intimate style in tandem with his self deprecation (chord progression similarities to ‘A Hard Day’s Night’/elements that would be better with a drummer/an Everly Brothers cover as closer) win over the audience’s respect and demonstrate that you can reverse a position of weakness into more favourable terrain, with the right touch of resourcefulness. Seeing this band at full-strength will certainly warrant a place on my to-do-list.

Sweaty Palms

Next in line comes a Glaswegian band that seems to borrow heavily from the darker realms of the post-punk genre; punchy, intuitive drumming that forces its weight on bass lines that more or less play second fiddle (a spine is needed I suppose) in the rhythm dynamic. As for the rest of the instrumental elements, the guitars cooperate loosely in providing the chaotic, noise-infused chord misadventures we all know and love, yet it didn’t really seem like anything new). In regards to the vocals, the Peter Murphy-esque approach in the early portion of the set really adds to the band, however its tonal resonance slowly loses its touch as a brighter tone is opted for later on.

Overall their sense of dynamics and energy evidently showcases them as a strong live act; it may not be anything groundbreaking stylistically speaking but they know exactly how to provide the soundtrack to brawl in a… bar?


The final course (Hahahaha a pun) for the evening involves a group of face-painted musicians (a 21st century, Westernised Kabuki theatre reinvention?) that have no doubt frequented the sci-fi section of the local library to the extent that they themselves no longer need biometric identification to check out their H.P Lovecraft novel of choice.

They employ two drummers (not quite Adam and the Ants but it’ll do), a musical saw (seems the DIY aesthetic has become a literal thing now), a synthesiser primarily geared towards the ‘House of the Dead laboratory’ setting, an effects-laden bass guitar that goes for the submerged, long lost sea creature tone and guitars (tones vary) that make most metal bands of the present look as dated as the NWOBHM movement of old. NOTE: 5 members = not all equipment listed was used at the same time.

To describe the set in detail would be an achievement of some repute (not happening): the frequent changes in instrumental pattern provide me a source of perpetual perplexity, in addition to the vocal harmonies, with enough delivery styles to likely land them a successful career in voice acting, they showcase that the basic elements of progressive rock (minus the utopian ramblings) can be utilised to devastating effect. But then to ignore the amount of stylistic ground they cover (funk/blues-based hard rock/quasi-metal/unnamed punk iteration) would be rather unfair to them, as it clearly highlights that they appreciate diversity in their sonic pallet. A desire to not be labelled? Stop the presses.

Of course as a writer, lyrically they are probably one of the most disturbingly amusing bands I have encountered yet; how often do you come across themes as engrossing as a Social-Darwinism endorsement (‘Sterilise the Nation’) or simply wanting to eat another homo sapien (‘Cannibal Date Night’)? It all but sums up my opinion of them, I’ll certainly remain attentive as to where their conveyor-belt-situated-in-abattoir transports them next.

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Angus Rolland

Recent career decisions have compelled me into the journalistic... thing; I could list my literary influences or even debate which 3rd rate beverage has the best economic value per litre (But I won’t). Oh, in addition, I write reviews for the Independents Network.