Chew Magna

The first to grace the Soup Kitchen ‘stage’ consists of a band whose central methodology involves making their guitarists clash against one another’s grain, stout basslines whose texture can’t quite pierce the evident sound mixing issues and drums (loose cymbals sink beats) that serve their purpose, perhaps content in their second fiddle spectrum. The capable lead vocal placement in the tenor domain and the intricate, evidently noise-influenced soloing highlight a great deal of promise in this band, even their use of dynamics and tempo changes in certain numbers are enough to warrant appreciation.

Alas, repetition (probably around that song about compulsive liars) started to entrench itself, taking away from their closer, though the use of wordless backing vocals gave the band a degree of elevation. I’d like to think with some timely evolution, this band will be more than worthy of Manchester’s boreal embrace.


In continuum, the noted quad-like entity once again earn positive repute at their Soup Kitchen inaugural; since I recently reviewed them all the detail I inputted previously is not in requirement here. However, if you happen to be lurking about the confines of the Peer Hat on, let’s say the evening of the 7th of March, perhaps you even dare to venture below deck; you could just find yourself a spot for sonic enlightenment.


And like a gondola dubiously passing through the depths of the River Styx, the Mothers (Zappa’s Mothers) construct an ethereal landscape that almost makes you forget you are in a crowded, confined space that resembles a US Black Site more so than an esteemed music venue (fine by me). To get into the realm of specifics; they begin their set with this rather whimsical tone to the guitars, alongside the almost childlike quality of the lead vocals (what’s the female version of tenor again?), the bass and drums themselves being rather sparing while set to partial-mute mode, though the need for sudden changes in the tempo yank them back out of whatever cryostasis routine they typically perform under. Usually in intermediary periods before their next song, this ambient sound makes itself known; whether it’s part of their Heath Robinson-inspired synthesiser-amplifier-time machine set up remains a mystery to me, presumably so?

As the lo-fi escapade persists further into the bounds of the suspiciously serene, the guitarists relinquish their stringed utensils in favour of synthesisers that act as a kind of control panel, taking their music from the stratosphere right down to the aquatic depths; if Koji Kondo were to die or even retire from composing, the Legend of Zelda franchise would do well to commission these guys for future soundtrack work. Sadly the guitars make a reprise, and the formula of slightly-energised tempo change in the midst of whatever track they are playing comes back more tiresome than ever; the lack of an over-arching theme and the staticness of their set (including a lo-fi cover closer) wears down one’s attention span and fails to really energise anyone from what I observe.

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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.