Archive for January, 2016

Buffalo Club Review 15/01/2016

January 18, 2016

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.

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Gig in Guildford – Friday 15th January – Buffalo Club

January 13, 2016

I’m not sure how The Buffalo Club have passed me by – this Friday is far from the first gig they’ve put on.  But they have and now I need to put that right.

“A night of noisy indie rock for all ages” is how they describe it.  Doors 7.30pm, Back Room of the Star, central Guildford.  4 Bands.  The Correct Arc.  Swords of Thought.  Typical Hunks.  Space Church.

NOISE ROCK!!!!!!

The alternative scene’s job is to show up the mainstream as boring artistically and negligent politically.  Where it can often fail is when it replaces identikit bland, cynical, cash-chasing, auto-tuned pop with a scene that, whilst being interesting in contrast, is actually pretty boring with everyone following the same rules of dress and sound as each other.  Emo-y / mathy shit, alt-metal, stoner rock… all can be fantastic, but all can massively disappoint if done to a poor or average standard, following all the rules of their sub-genre to the letter, and especially when the night has 3 or 4 bands who are all much of a muchness.

The Buffalo Club seems to get this.  From my googling and listening the bands this Friday are not the sorts of bands who will fail to be interesting.

Anyway, in no particular order.

I have to say that if anything this lot are the band I’m most looking forward to, if for no other reason than they have the balls to use a drum machine.  Nothing wrong with a real drummer of course, but it does piss me off how many bands seem to think that guitar bass drums is what a band should be and drum machines, samplers, sequencers are somehow inauthentic or cheating.

Space Church on Bandcamp

Swords of Thought on Bandcamp

The Correct Arc on Bandcamp

Get your arse down there on Friday night, drink beer and support your local scene.