Desperate Journalist


The Empty Page

A late start (I hear an act pulled out?) affords me enough time to eat a quantity of waffles (potato) before venturing into the vaguely kitsch dwelling we all know as the Deaf Institute. Up first comes a 3-piece heavily rooted in 1990s ‘alternative’ rock, though sadly it doesn’t appear that they have blended their influences into anything beyond derivation.

To elaborate, the style of the guitar playing seems a little on the unimaginative side, a solo (on the song where they say “garbage in, garbage out”) invokes predictability alongside a tone practically veering on the generic (holding it behind your head and leaning it on your shoulders eh). The lead vocal is somewhat reminiscent of Kim Deal (underutilised low register?), though lyrically not quite up to par with the chops wielded by the alt rock figurehead. As for the rhythm, the aggressive, simplistic fills (blood was drawn?) and the inaudibility of the bass does little to elevate my sinking opinion of this evening.

Desperate Journalist

Underwhelmed by the previous act, the headliners quickly set the performance benchmark; however, soon enough any enthusiasm from the changing of the guard is metaphorically put to the sword as the same format of alt-rock aping is essentially performed at a slightly superior level (I don’t take harshness lightly, but it’s warranted in this instance). As I sit pondering how the audience has taken to them, the 5-piece dive into a string of quasi-melancholic numbers that just about touch on the same subject matter; if it isn’t about a relationship (“why are you so boring?”), it’s about someone else’s relationship… or something loosely along those lines.

The effects-laden guitar sound doesn’t tend to vary that much either, and in reality kind of hawks the attention (I suppose there were 2 of them) to the extent that the bass is left in the gutter once more (Hang the DJ?). The beat, while a bit more adventurous than the former, fails to really add any percussive substance necessary to this rather drab instrumental structure; one fill in particular, the interval between verse and chorus on their last pre-encore song, I can only describe as… clunky. The capable lead vocal is the soaring factor that grasps the audience, even in spite of not quite nailing the more taxing notes (studio and live are different beasts in all fairness) and vocal melodies that seem to conveniently loop throughout their set.

As the band is unfortunately roused for an encore, I question why I didn’t take to this gig, how I suspect I am a loner in terms of opinion here and what it really means to have ethics as a journalist. Ignoring the obvious link between my position and the name of the headliner, I recall a certain Jim Morrison lyric and unkindly cite it for use here: “All the children are insane”.

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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.