Friday, 31 October 2014

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Fiverfest: Heat 1 - 24/10/2014

Fiverfest is a band competition being held at The Junction in Cambridge, so it's a fantastic chance to check out a series of bands for £5.00. This doesn't explain why things were quite so quiet at the start of the night, as swapping a pint and a half for the chance of seeing the next Gods of Rock before they even get signed (or just a series of decent, up for it, acts giving it a shot) is just too spectacular to miss out on. Still folks didn't come in a huge number or variety (it was mostly the '18' to 25 scene), so others bad choices meant I got a better view of something far more enjoyable than X-Factor.

First up was Ambury Night, who played a sweaty version of tribal blues rock that I really quite liked. Their bassist had all the stage moves and their drummer was playing the 'hit everything all the time' game with great aplomb, which provided an excellent backline for their guitarist to noodle away to his hearts content and their singer to give their rather nice songs a faux-Americana belting that reminded me of Ian Astbury. All in all a great showing with a range of tunes & sounds on show, thought I would encourage their singer to try and sing more towards the audience than to his band mates.

Lost Lungs followed, and whilst they played a nice line in indie rock that had moments of Catatonia and 90's radio friendly goodness that would be great for a Summer drive to something exciting with friends they were a bit hit-and-miss for me (in that I liked songs 2, 4, and 6 but songs 1, 3, and 5 left me cold). Their last track was especially impressive, sounding like they were trying to drown me in velvet, and their stage presence was good, but beyond that it just wasn't connecting. Also their drummer was wearing a done-up tie, which will always be a major 'NO' for me as it means they aren't trying hard enough.

Fenrir exploded from the off, bringing a massive injection of positive post-hardcore energy, along with a tempo that perked up the audience and got the first motion going up at the front. They even got a singalong going and win the prize for smothist album plugs of the night. It had me bouncing along and was a nicely polished performance without too much flash or bluster. Just solid sounds and lots of pop hope with breakdowns at just the right points that I would like to check out more of.

This all left a tough one for Forever After to follow, which they didn't really achieve with their Foo Fighters mark 2 offering and the amazing line of "This one's about your girlfriend leaving you and its all emotional" which drew an audible snickering from my side of the audience. None of it was bad, as they could clearly play and were perfectly skilled craftsman (including their bassist who appeared to have recently scored some incredibly powerful E as he spent the whole time smiling like a loon). It's just that none of it was half as exciting as they thought it was or especially new/interesting.

And then finally, for me anyway as I had to nip off before the 11th hour additional 6th act, was The Abstracts. who brought along an Indie-Meets-New Wave sound that mixed The James, The Cars, and a touch of Elvis Costello with just enough Libertines to be distinctly English without needing a punch. It was highly emotive with clear Brit-Pop sensibilities, but nothing too overboard or pretentious (although their singer is quite possibly from another planet given his hyper-kinetic motions and ability to walk on stage dry to then be drenched in sweat before the start of the first track). No fancy stage work, but a good connection with the audience.

So was it worth it? Yes, very much so and especially at the price. I'm aware that events like this have a terrible reputation but for the price you can't complain and none of the acts were especially bad or a waste of time. The next one is on Saturday the 1th of November and I would encourage more people to go to it.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

War On The Dancefloor - The Q Club 24/10/2014

Exciting news on this front: Firstly the night is now going quarterly, so expect another war in January, and Secondly I'm now part of the DJ team for it. So if you like what's below then come along to the next one for more!

  1. Destroy all dancefloors - CTRL ALT DEL
  2. I spent my rent money on tentacle porn - Petrol Bastard
  3. Nothing's working - Error
  4. Ich bin ein Auslander - Pop Will Eat Itself
  5. Dead shall rise - Flesh Eating Foundation
  6. Killing ground - Front Line Assembly
  7. IDONTGIVEAFUCK - Rabbit Junk
  8. Genius - Pitchshifter
  9. Paranoid - Ultraviolence
  10. Something wonderful - Revolting Cocks
  11. Me & my army - The Chaos Engine
  12. Access & Amplify - Icon Of Coil
  13. Velocity - Neurotic Fish
  14. Afraid of the dark - God Module
  15. Hammer of the gods - Faderhead
  16. The Rocky Horror fashion show - Pregnant With Worms
  17. Jesus Christ buried alive - Alien Vampires

Monday, 6 October 2014

Pop That Pretty Thirty - Rabbit Junk

After a splendid run of singles the mighty JP Anderson and Sum Grrl, aka Rabbit Junk, are back with an EP of most epic proportions. Hitting you in the face like the most kawaii deathsquad it's another blast of thrashy industrial dance with fat-arse breakdowns, this time spiked with what sounds like the odd touch of EDM (though it could just be they cranked up the treble on this one) and its as bouncy as hell (standard!). Basically imagine Atari Teenage Riot and 90's Frontline Assembly got loved up on molly and then dragged Steve Aoki into the mix. It might not be the best way to describe the sound, but just imagine it for a second.... the look on his face...

Anyway Clock That Pretty Thirty is a thick slab of guitars, keyboards, and static, with Sum Grrl sounding utterly brilliant. It's a slow,driving  grind that doesn't go too far out of Rabbit Junks comfort zone, but it's a hell of a "hello" statement. Precipice follows up and it's got this weird 80's goth majestic quality with the vocals and instrumentation, in amongst the pile-hammer drums and crunching overdrive. Massive guitar riffs, great singing, lots of power without getting too cluttered. IDONTGIVEAFUCK is a high point, and in another world it would be the sound of the summer and promoting everything from softdrinks to cars to generalised world-salvation it's got that amazing a pop vibe to it. It's got a central hook that gets played about with, never hanging around on one thing too long to get boring, and is just explosive and high energy. Kinda like the Stadium Dance thing the KLF used to do, just without the trance elements. Crutch 2014 is a more dancefloor friendly remix of one of their classic tracks, in that its not going to cause a moshpit that might kill the clubs dancefloor. More high-notes, more bounce, same basic song but it just sounds a bit more modern than when it came out 8 years ago and still wins awards for the most ironic scream-along chorus that pissed people love joining in on. Clock That Pretty Killer will be monster live, as it's got a grinding hook that just locks in and a sticky intensity I could listen to all day. Not as dynamic as the rest of the EP but still solid and it's growing on me after every play.

All of this is available on Pay What You Want, so unless you are what's wrong with modern music I would firmly advise you to go and get this collection today. Then put it on your player and blast it away till its a part of your soul, or they do their next album.