Posts Tagged ‘Grits’

Pascagoula, This Is Wreckage, Space Church, Grits, Star Inn, Guildford, Sunday 19th November 2017

November 26, 2017

First up, Grits. I can’t help but have some reservations. I find it hard to buy into what they’re doing 100%, there’s something about them that makes me doubt their motives and remain a little unconvinced by them.

Flip side is that I feel that is harsh, even as I type it. Three great musicians, some really decent songs, and a furious energy that reminds me of the chaos of rock n roll at it’s best… I’m talking early 70s, Raw Power era Stooges, proto-punk, that properly fucked up all over the place rock n roll from when rock n roll was still at the cutting edge and punk had yet to seize the mantle.

They are getting better, and they’re also taking more of a stoner influence which is no bad thing… but then maybe I’m back to paragraph one, is this stoner influence a natural progression of the band, or is this an attempt to capture a part of what is kinda en vogue at the moment?  I am all for bands progressing, just I hope it’s natural and I hope it’s not an attempt to find a market.

I’m being so harsh, they’re a fine fine band, great energy, I’d happily go see them any day of the week.

Up next was Space Church. I’m back on an upward curve with them.  I loved the noise and the madness in the variety when I first saw them… to what extent did they mellow and to what extent did I just get my head around them so I wasn’t so mind-blown?  Either way I think they’re getting better, though I’ll never get that “first time” feeling again.

Phil’s a brave performer bringing a bizarre take on theatre to the party, I appreciate anything that puts a smile on my face and is wilfully different. Why has no-one else thought of forming an easy listening-influenced, performance art-influenced, Slinty-Albini-y thing like Space Church? It’s such an obvious thing to do.

Pat and Dan hold it all together… the bass kinda always adding something at all points in the set, the drums more ticking along in between the real highs.  Really good band.  Fucking good.

This Is Wreckage.  I’m a total hypocrite… or am I?  I like stuff to be reasonably original.  I don’t like old fashioned punk bands – or most modern ones for that matter.  It’s old hat, and it takes a bit of a spin and a real energy (see Freakouts locally) to make it good.  This Is Wreckage are kinda the noise-rock equivalent.  I think.  I don’t know enough about all the [late 80s, early 90s maybe, US] influences to know how much they’re bringing to the table that hasn’t been done before.  Why don’t I reject it as old hat?

But… noise rock is just more interesting than punk, it sounds better, it doesn’t have quite as many miles on the clock, and it has not been done to death in a mainstream way and become part of a fairly conservative consensus like punk has.

And even if it hadn’t, This Is Wreckage just nail it.  Drums get hammered, absolutely hammered.  Bass get’s abuse at high speed.  Guitars fizz and vocals shout.  Go see them.  Put them on.

Check ’em out here – awesome – buy it –

https://thisiswreckage.bandcamp.com/album/q-y-c

Onto Pascagoula.  They’re not that similar a band but they did kinda remind me of Wytch Pycknyk [are both bands from Brighton?  Wytch Pycknyk played the Star recently] in the level of chaos and genuinely fuck-up energy.  If you could combine Grits professionalism with the sense of danger and fucked-up mess from Pascagoula you’d have an awesome awesome awesome beast of a band.

Pascagoula reckon they’re sludge doom metal drone or summat, judging by their bandcamp.  Not sure they sounded as heavy or dark as what I checked out online before the gig.  They’re a bit all-over-the-place, and that’s no bad thing, enjoyed them, definitely the band I’d like to see again.

It’s almost getting embarrassing… the Buffalo Club guys, literally, genuinely, do not put on bad bands, and I am literally, genuinely not sleeping with any of them, that is the truth.

Advertisements

Current Best of the Rest

July 23, 2017

Best of the rest in and around south-west Surrey and north-east Hants – Guildford, Farnborough etc etc… and a bit further afield.

Freakouts – Grungey punk / post-punk newcomers.

https://www.facebook.com/freakoutsband/

Grits – a surprisingly unique combination of heavy alternative rock with a reasonably mainstream sensibility.  Or maybe this is bollocks.  They rock.

Morass of Molasses – fine sludge 3 piece.  Riffs aplenty.

https://morassofmolasses.bandcamp.com/

Parachute For Gordo – suprisingly funky post-punk / post rock act who get tagged as post rock.  Or something.  Well worth checking out.

https://parachuteforgordo.bandcamp.com/

Princess – dark, scratchy, 80s Cave / Cash, noise-rock miserablists.  Fantastic.

https://princess3.bandcamp.com/

Silent Mode – desert rock / stoner thing.  They have quite a unique and heavy sound, really riffy and damn catchy.  The sort of band I can imagine winning over loads of new fans if they were on at a festival.

https://silentmode.bandcamp.com/releases

Slug 13 – grunge noise rock.  All riffs and wah and bass and drums.  It just works, getting better and better.  Check out the recent ep.  My kinda music.

https://slug13.bandcamp.com/

Space Church – madness.  I like them most at their heaviest.  They have the funk.  When they want to.  Different every time.

https://spacechurch.bandcamp.com/

Swords of Thought – noisiest pure pop band ever.  Or a poppy Sonic Youth.  Or something.  Are they a bit like William who I used to love?

https://swordsofthought.bandcamp.com/

Trevor’s Head – New lp on the way (and the last one, Tricolossus, was superb).  Stoner grunge shit.

https://trevorshead.bandcamp.com/

Typical Hunks – scratchy, noisy, 80s-sounding, drum-machine-wielding genii.

https://somehunks.bandcamp.com/

Best of the rest of the rest (bands on this list might have recently split up, or I haven’t seen them live yet and need to check ’em out more, or they’re too big for this list [esp. EtS]) – Aching Muscle – Blackwaters – Tommy Blackwood – Camcorder – Drugstore Cowboys – Employed to Serve – Eulogy – Fauntleroy – Gutlocker – Heinous Pianist – Vinyl Staircase.

Who have I forgotten – let me know?  All genres welcome but pure metal, progressive metal, folk, country or anything mainstream better be INCREDIBLE to get anywhere near the list.

Morass of Molasses, Space Church, Grits, Silent Mode, Buffalo Club night at the Star, Guildford, 30th March 2017

April 2, 2017
As their set started I was worried that they were going to be pretty poor… but my concerns were soon found to be totally misplaced.  Band with most commercial potential – Silent Mode.  Is this down to age / look as much as sound?  Maybe, not sure.  The combination of a relatively modern sound and more stoner rock vibes makes for a nice combination.  Vocals really reminded me of Brian Molko… not everyone’s sup of tea but I have a bit of a soft spot for Placebo… and they’ve managed pretty darn tidy career.

Grits are a bit like Silent Mode – definitely a band that could fairly be described as alternative, whilst coming from a place that is probably quite straight-ahead rock too.  At times they remind me of the frantic energy of MBV at their best (for the avoidance of doubt this is very high praise coming from me), whilst not sounding much like them at all.  I’d love to know how that set was meant to sound compared to how it came out… chaos, falling cymbal, collapsing drums, more falling cymbal, more falling cymbal, more falling cymbal, more falling cymbal, more falling cymbal, more falling cymbal.  Bit of luck I have a soft spot for amateurism and chaos – the band who I suspect might be the most technically gifted of the four on show really did come across somewhere between unlucky and clowns.  Not the best set of the night, not the best set Grits will ever play… and I don’t 100% get where they’re coming from.  But when they get it right they really get it right.

Space Church.  I swear they sound totally different every time I see them.  My perception was wonderful noisy all over the place weirdness the first time I saw them.  I love the album.  At the Boileroom recently I thought it was the sound that gave me a totally different perspective (no pun intended, still available on 7″).  Much quieter, more professional, more like a band who might actually want to be liked as opposed to really really not giving a flying anything.  They seemed to carry that back to the Star, sort of… maybe it was the venue / sound less at the Boileroom, and more them developing.  No idea.  Most interesting band on show, and one I’m actually finding harder to pin down the more i see them.

Really enjoyed Morass of Molasses – a sludgey stonery bassless heavy quite retro sounding bluesy damn fine thing.  Probably the band I enjoyed most, despite, on paper, perhaps being the one I’d think I’d like least.  Second time I’ve seen them and I think I’m getting them more.  But not enough to write much… I blame lack of shared reference points between MoM and WEM.

I really can’t work out which of the following statements is most true –
(1)  There are a ridiculous number of really good bands around Surrey / Hants right now.
(2)  The Buffalo Club guys can spot a band.
(3)  I love any old shit so long as its live, loud and a bit different.

Top 10 Current Local Bands – Guildford and Surrounds – February 2017 (pt 2)

February 22, 2017

Moper, ex-SBB… are a band I’m still trying to get my head around 9 months (or so?) after seeing them live.  I’ve bought 3 albums.  They are dark, they place a massive barrier between the audience and themselves… but they’re gnawing away at me, I want to understand.  There’s a bit of Future of the Left about them, maybe.  Drawing me in.  Let them get to work on you… it might take a while but if your soul is pure, if a little haunted, then you’ll get there like I hope to.  Star Inn, Guildford, Friday, will to be there.

Grits I rate highly.  Not sure the extent they are something quite alternative trying to take high energy rock on board to make something more accessessible, or the other way round – a fairly mainstream rock band with hints at something quite challenging.  Either way energy levels, catchiness and plenty to keep it interesting to my [Wild] Eyes.  Fucking yes.  Facebar, Reading, Friday, would like to be there.

Who Saw The Light are a doom, grunge, metal, fuck knows what mess of a band and get away with it.  Who knows where they’re going, who knows why, but they have something.  Maybe I misunderstood but one song last time I saw them had its tempo set by a simple rhythm guitar part.  10 seconds in the bassist – whose taking lead vocal on the song – is having a bit of a go a the guitarist for massively reducing the tempo compared to when they rehearse it.  They really don’t appear to give a fuck.  I hope that what I’m seeing is the start of something special.  I fear they’ll get their act together and lose some of their irreverence and genre-spanning melange.  Then again they can certainly play so if they wanted to get their act together they would have probably done so already.

Songs To Punch Nerds To is great and Space Church have a live set that blew me away the first time I saw it.  I hope they keep writing, keep mixing it up.  Trevor’s Head seriously know what they’re doing too, dunno what more to say.

Slug 13 have the massive advantage of playing in a style that I’m a sucker for… though being able to write a top top riff kinda helps too.  Keep writing, keep ploughing that lovely furrow, maybe mix it up a bit too.  Or don’t bother.  Mixing it up that is, do bother full stop.

I love pop music.  Swords of Thought can write a song… but they do so in a nicely noisy way, that reminds me of some great great bands like Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr.  The Boo Radley’s debut album (which they themselves have kinda written out of history) is called Ichabod and I.  It is brilliant if you like that sort of thing.  Pure pop, combined with a “why use one distortion pedal when you can use 20” attitude (I swear that’s a reasonably accurate bit of paraphrasising from an interview I read back in the day).  SoT remind me of that.

Pensevor deserve their own post, so bugger it, I’m saying nothing for now.

Top 10 Current Local Bands – Guildford and Surrounds – February 2017

February 21, 2017

Top 10 Current Local Bands – Guildford and Surrounds – February 2017

The rules – you must be based in Guildford or not that far away.  I must have seen you play live.  You must have played in or near Guildford in the last year or so.  I have changed part of your name to the word shit to ensure that you don’t get too cocky if you’re on the list, and if you’re not on the list then you don’t get a shit so there’s some consolation.  This list is based on FACTS not my personal opinion.

If you’re on the best of the rest then I wanna see you, or you just missed out, or you haven’t played locally recently enough, or you’re there cos someone I trust rates you, or maybe you’re just so fucking good that I think you’re too good to be judged against other local bands.

Feedback welcome.  Noise a guitar makes I mean, not your replies.

(1)  Penshitvor

(2)  Swords of Shit

(3)  Shit13

(4)  Shit Church

(5)  Trevor’s Shit

(6)  Who Saw The Shit

(7)  Shits

(8)  Shitter

(9)  Victorian Whore Shits

(10)   Typical Shits

Best of the rest – Blackwaters, Tommy Blackwood, Camcorder, Employed to Serve, Eulogy, Gutlocker, Heinous Pianist, Morass of Molasses, Princess, Vinyl Staircase.

Vital Note – Eulogy and Swords of Thought – PULL YOUR FINGERS OUT.

Another thing… maybe, going back 25 years, I didn’t get to as many local gigs as I should have… and no offence you lot but I am not sure any of you come close to touching the genius of Mega City Four and in particular Wiz’s incredible lyrics.  But overall the standard now is so high, it really is.

Buffalo Club – Space Church, Grits, Princess – August 6th 2016

July 17, 2016

Grits and Princess have been added to the line-up… maybe they’ll get one more band to make it four?  Star Inn, Guildford.  Gonna be a very good night!

Facebook event page link

Buffalo Club – Sat May 28th 2016 – Star Inn Guildford

June 6, 2016

Grits, Burning House, Warren Schoenbright, The Sleepwalker

Ballsiest Band of the Night Award

Warren Schoenbright.  Easy.  How the fuck can a band have the balls to have a drummer keep it so simple, like this little skin-flicker did for much of their set?  I’ll tell you how!  No fucking idea.  He might as well have not been on stage for huge chunks of the set given how simple he kept it.

Band Name of the Night Award

Not awarded.  Not that any of the band names are bad, per se, but I’m not sure any are that good.  Or maybe the bands had them the wrong way round?  Grits should swap with Burning House, then Grits (the new one, not the old one) with The Sleepwalker, leaving Grits (the third one) to swap with Warren Schoenbright.  That would definitely make more sense.

Band of the Night Most Likely to Get Nicked for Encouraging Drug Taking Even Though You Can’t Really Get Nicked For Encouraging Drug Taking Unless You’re a Dealer and then You Get Nicked For Dealing Not Encouraging Award

The Sleepwalker.  Note – I know the award title implies that I know that they’re not dealers, the truth is they could be Howard Fucking Marks and his big-time elder bro’ for all that I know.  Please, if either of the members of The Sleepwalker – da one wiv the laptop an da beatz or the one wot guitared – are dealers who supply you, then please do not let this award put you off visiting them again – just make sure you wears a disguise to get your supplies.  Its for your good and theirs.

Best Band of the Night Award

Grits.  Easy.

Best Live Band of the Night Award (judged in comparison to their online output, not in absolute terms)

Warren Schoenbright.  Much better live than some of their stuff online might suggest, some of the suff online being far too abstract for my taste.  Coincidentally one of my favourite ever bands are also far too abstract for my taste to the point where some of their stuff I don’t much like at all.

Comedy Moment of the Night Award

Burning House’s drummer drops stick.  Shit happens.  Burning House’s singer/guitarist reacts as though shit DOES NOT HAPPEN, OR AT LEAST NOT IN MY FUCKING BAND.  Chill Winston.  Or something.

Drummer of the Night Award

Warren Schoenbright.  Easy.  How the fuck can a band have the balls to have a drummer keep it so simple, like this little skin-flicker did for much of their set, and come across like such a fucking amazing amazing drummer?  The last band I saw with a drummer this good were Toehammer.  I am serious.  Toehammer are / were (anyone know?) a three piece where you just kinda wonder what the guitarist and bassist are thinking?  Do / did they realise that they’re there simply because people want to watch the drummer, but watching a drummer on stage by themselves is boring, so it kinda helps if the rest of a band are on stage too even if they’re irrelevant to the level of pleasure the audience gets?

Guildford’s New Best Band Award (hotly contested because, as we all know, more great bands come out of Guildford than anywhere in the UK apart from London, Rugby and Burton-On-Trent)

Grits.  They were the only Guildford band on the bill to my knowledge, but this is not an “on the Night Award” so fair play to this little trio for pulling it off.

Highest Feedback to Traditional Guitar Playing Ratio of the Night Award

The Sleepwalker.

Most Appropriate Other Band T-Shirt on a Member of a Band on the Night Award

My Bloody Valentine Feed Me With Your Kiss on Burning Star’s singer/guitarist.  Burning House’s bass player gets an honourable runners-up silver medal for Dinosaur Jr.  Third for Warren Schoenbright’s drummer for his “I am a fucking class drummer” T-Shirt or did I make that up?

Most Correct Feedback to Traditional Guitar Playing Ratio of the Night Award

The Sleepwalker.

Most Strangest Band of the Night Award

Warren Schoenbright.

Most Used Tremolo Arm of the Night Award

Burning House.

Musician of the Night Award

Warren Schoenbright’s drummer.

Post-rock Rock Band of the Night Award

Grits.  They are the world’s first post-rock rock band.  Or am I talking shit?  Probably.  Whatever the fuck they are they take a shit-load of interesting influences, then turn them on their head and just get on with being a fucking great (hard) rock band.  So probably not post-rock at all.

Soundtrack/scape Band of the Night Award

The Sleepwalker.  They would have got the Only Soundtrack/scape Band of the Night Award if there was one, but there wasn’t cos that would be silly.  They were also the only band to soundtrack a (slowed down) film as they played, but that did not effect the judges’ decision.

The Wild Eye Music “My Kinda Thing” Band of the Night Award

Burning House for being “My Kinda Thing” and doing it damn well.

The Free CD of My Choice that you Probably Have and Probably Don’t Really Want Award of the Night (collection / meet only, no postage)

To the first person to comment on this blog with the name of the three bands referenced in one way or another (but not named) in this review.  Bonus CD if you can name the band referenced twice.