Having had a busy weekend travelling over 300 miles looking at various natural wonders and aiding my daughter do her Karate training it was with a half doped carcass I went to the gig tonight with hopes of a solid Senton Bombs performance (one of my fave bands tha' knows) and of catching up with 3 new bands to me and hopefully revealing some refreshing toxins to rush through my melodic mind. Entering the gaff a beer was bought and the first band were just into the opening number. Why fuck about, let's get down to it and roll out the review.
Semitt Falls opened the nights noise and came forth as something outside my normal sphere (whatever that is anymore - I do like the obscure) and rattled out a bastard hybrid mix of sub-progressive rock, tortured and twisted techno, dabbled and slightly deranged dub step and obvious overtones and undertones of metal. The overall mish mash had me on the front foot as well as the back and it was undoubtedly a case of more than one viewing needed as I watched the band puke forth what was a pleasurable set that really hammered home in parts, derailed in small portions and turned screamoid and highly tense in others. When a regular riffage was hit the band boomed and when they adopted a more relaxed modus operandi the general tightness and organisation became more apparent. The main question I found myself asking was 'Where is this bands crowd' - and I found myself coming up short for an answer. Overall though the assessment is positive with a band good value for money and worthy of attention from the insider (of course) and the outsider (think on). There was a song in there that had a sub-ska outburst and that was a fuckin' fine moment - what it was called - bah - darn my buggered lugs.
A slurp and then a good chat with those perennial faves The Senton Bombs whom, as it transpired, were up next. This is the band I came to see and one whom I prodded towards this gig with the hope of them making a few new contacts primarily through that fine 'erbert, gig organiser and frontman of the headline band Matt Franklin. The Bombs are indeed a class act but, as with numerous outfits, have fell victim to getting ensnared in a punk rock loop that in some ways has helped them along and in others has hindered them. The members are aware of this and after a short break are keen to get back gigging and spreading their word in as many fruitful directions as possible. Tonight they slipped into their groove easily with a good opening burst that was slightly affected by a somewhat unsettled sound but 'The Experiment' turned things up another fine notch and although still a bit too bassed up the band started rolling hard and riffed along with a subtle intensity. The 3rd track off their new 'taster' CD pursued and had the necessary intensity and then came the bands 'song of the moment' with 'Do Your Job' pumping hard but being let down by a echoed sound and a minor guitar blip that was just ‘one of those’. Still a solid number and the band raced through it, re-aligned and set about closing this short set in quality style. 'Superkick' and 'The Retire' helped all noisy aspects to grow in stature and the onlookers seemed quite taken by the delivery and professionalism of the band. Great finishing salvo and here's to more Bombtastic Sentonisation.
A beer, a piddle, a sit down and some contemplation - its good to be off the beaten track again.
Giants Of The West came and of what they were going to offer I knew not what! What I was given was a youthful and zestful lesson in new-school metal/punk that started with a brief hammer gun instrumental and followed by the power laden assault known as 'Crazy Eye'. This one had a robust backbone and from this bold opener the band built and produced a modern meltdown of techno incandescence that would really fit into several punk rock sub-genres I know of. The visuals were good as the band ploughed their souls into their surging and throughout all parts were kept in order and of a very high impact. Riff-rammed, body slammed - there isn't much more to add at this stage but again I have that Twistonian feeling 'can I have some more please' - the sonic begging bowl needs some extra spice.
Finally we came to a band best summed up with a bold and bewildered 'What The Fuck'. A four piece band doused in the ashes of experimentation and with a jamming jazz-like ethos full of seeming improvisation and random acts of pipe-weed induced cretinism. Masked up and cloaked in shimmering silver frontman Matt hit the stage and led a hotch-potch of technical musical mayhem that initially left a few standing but gradually built up a momentum to even indulge these few doubting onlookers. With a blacked-up green furred goblin, a sharp-dressed elephantine rhythm maker and a slapping stick man the scene set was bizarre and escorted by tones of equal absurdity. Beyond the most blatant aspects the band could indeed knock out a 'toon' albeit without definite, orthodox structure and with a penchant to fly off kilter when a groove was found. Funked and fucked - the crowd responded nonetheless and at the end of the set I found myself strangely taken and satisfyingly intrigued. What the fuck?
So that was it - 3 new bands for Fungal and yet more surprises and one old fave doing the business. I like to keep the listening experience fresh and moving and full applause must go to the acoustic operators who create the cacophony. It may not all be my cup of tea but at least I try and find new material and keep the ones at the bottom motivated. You know the score - fuck all circles, fuck all social cliques and maybe its a case of fuck you but...if like me you wanna do yer bit and help all the racket makers to keep moving then good on ya.
Home I went - goodnight all!
review by Fungalpunk/OMD (25 April 2012)