The first thing to make clear – based on the flyer and a quick listen to the bands on the net – is that I had pretty high expectations. Not simply that I’d hear some decent music, but that the guys behind The Buffalo Club are doing something that interests me.
Two – anyone putting on live music in Guildford, or towns like it, deserves massive credit. Not least anyone doing anything that could be described as ‘alternative’. GU1 PUNX deserve particular recognition round here IMO.
To my taste though there’s a bit to much metal – I have no problem with metal, but I’m no metaller and my life only needs so much of it. Not least because a band can be fucking loud and guitary without being metal. And there’s a bit too much emo-y / math-y / hardcore / post-hardcore (or something) shit. Look, some is really good, and maybe it’s just my ignorance. I just don’t get most of it and it almost looks like an orthodoxy that has come to be today’s default alternative. Maybe its just the sound of [part of] a generation, not mine, and it’s designed to keep me away.
The Buffalo Club don’t fall too far into either trap. Noisy guitars – check. Metal and modern ‘punk’ – less so.
I missed the beginning of Swords of Thought. But I did catch most of their set. They’re basically a really tight bass / drums rhythm section with a fucking noisy guitarist, and vocals. A few of their songs were pretty ponderous indie numbers if truth be told, but I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt that they need that to cope with the energy of the rest of the set. They’re a pop band – energetic, danceable pop. But with really fucked up post-punk / indie / noise guitars. Reminded me of Icabod and I-era Boo Radleys – seriously noisy, but with a proper pop sensibility in there too. Very good. Sonic Youth (big) and Pulp (not so big) came to my mind as possible influences. That is three proper decent bands I’ve compared them to! For Pixies fans?
Space Church are bonkers. I really can’t particularly think of any reference points – they are different. They have slow, ambient bits. They verge on metal. They are droney and hypnotic and progressive at times. Fuck knows, but I liked them. Noisy. Prog done by punks. Really don’t know. Would definitely make the effort to see them again.
In case you’re in any doubt ‘different’ in my eyes pretty much means good by itself, but Space Church are intrinsically good, not just good cos they’re different. FACT.
By The Correct Arc I was getting pissed. Not bad at all, but – unlike the other bands on the night – there wasn’t much to surprise me or interest me. Not to my taste.
Typical Hunks rocked. Drum machine, guitar / vocals, bass. Big Black are the obvious reference point. I love bands who do things different. Its pretty fucked up – 40/45 years since Kraftwerk and Suicide came along that simply having a drum machine instead of drummer is a bold move. More bands should use drum machines / sequencers and ditch live drummers. Most bands shouldn’t but some should. Fucking mix it up!
I really hope that SoT, SC and TH aren’t all simply bands that interested me because they have similar old 1980s / early 90s alt / punk reference points. Part of me does fear its true. But overall I think I’m in the clear… I just want something a bit different and too many younger bands have too many of the same influences and sounds.
Have to say I love the Star too – the pub, the back room where gigs are held, the beer and the location.