Posts Tagged ‘Silent Mode’

Princess, Camcorder, Big Gruesome, Bent Ref and Silent Mode at the Star Inn, Guildford 10th September 2017

September 17, 2017

I’m gonna go random and try to write quick.

Bent Ref were great. Absolutely no idea about what to say about them other than the guitarist had a nice guitar, practically no pedals and the sort of tone that screams “I know what the fuck I’m doing. Worship at my feet mere mortal”. The only band they reminded me of was Sebadoh, but (1) I am not an expert on Sebadoh, and (2) I think they only remind me of Sebadoh because Bent Ref sound a bit like a band that could have been around back then and I think both bands share a kinda song-based but quirky enough that it’s hard to pin down thing. Superb technicians, interesting artists, I like.

Silent Mode rock and I love that their sound is somewhat modern without being somewhat shit (there’s a lot of bands around now that don’t seem to give a shit about their tone, or they want a tone that will alienate people like me who grew up with all sorts of really warm / retro / analogue / valve / sounds). Definitely prefer them at their rockiest / hardest / fastest; they sound a bit like they’re undecided whether they should focus on the heavier, or whether they have enough in the locker in terms of song-writing and talent to be crossover-desert. I don’t have a problem if they stay where they are or go in either direction.

Big Gruesome. Loved the Trematron. Their Facebook page lists the following influences “Black Sabbath, Metallica, Van Halen, The Doors, Pink Floyd, Deftones, Bloc Party, Letlive, AC/DC, Funeral For A Friend, The Cult, Pearl Jam, Motorhead, Led Zeppelin, The Stooges”. NOT MY THING – aside from FFAF and Deftones and Bloc Party and Letlive (bands I know fuck all about and have no desire to learn) you have the sort of tedious mainstram rock shit that is unacceptable as an influence – Lep Zep, Doors, Floyd, Metallica, AC/DC, Cult, Pearl Jam. Plenty of people love this kinda thing. NOT ME. SUE ME.

Princess. Oh Princess. My first gig with new, reasonably good quality ear-plugs… sounded so much more refined that I am used to from them, but what I lost in edge I gained in clarity. The consensus is they’re improving… nothing to blow my mind (not every band can be Who Saw The Light) but their 80s-influenced noise rock hits some lofty heights and never disappoints.

Camcorder are like Princess in that I’ve previously kinda thought it’s the abrasiveness that is the greatest selling point, but I might be coming round to the idea that it’s not. I’ve long wanted to see Camcorder in the quieter and more refined sonic space that is the Boileroom… but I think aforementioned ear-plugs had the same effect.

The Lemonheads were a great band. I’m a sucker for the poppier end of what they did (Mrs Robinson), and especially the rockier stuff (Lick is a proper album). Camcorder are a bit like Bent Ref in that I can’t pin them down but do like it… but if anything Camcorder remind me of what Lemonheads could have been had they dropped the rock influences and gone straight to the pop whilst making sure the guitar fails to sound poppy. This is probably utter horseshit as a description, but I know what I mean. Either way I kinda get the feeling I’m listening to a really poppy but noisy American early-90s grunge-influence indie-pop band. I’m not sure how poppy the songs really are, they all just flash past in the blink of an eye leaving me with a feeling of “I’m not sure what that song was like, but it felt like it was over in an instant so I can safely say it didn’t bore me”. I am shit at this reviewing thing.

Special props to Nick Holland who get’s my “closest thing we had to the promoter turning up” award for the night.  Not a great crowd but not a bad one either, pretty good for a Sunday night in fact. Cheers Stef (allegedly).

The scene is fucking healthy, apart from a few more people through the door would be nice. Four really decent bands for a sum total of fuck all, plus Big Gruesome who I am simply not in a position to judge – I don’t do hard rock.

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Gigs in Guildford / SW Surrey and NE Hants September 1st 2017 onwards

September 1, 2017

This gig list is stuff that get’s the Wild Eye seal of approval, especially if the band or promoter are in bold.

If you look to your right you should see a page marked “Gig Listings on the Net A to Z” where I have linked a couple of local Facebook listings pages.  There will be further A to Z pages up soon covering local bands, labels, promoters and venues.

Let me know what I am missing.

Oh yeah… always worth checking out the Boileroom website as well.

Tuesday 19th September 2017
Joy Room, Fuzzwalker, Warp Rays at the Boileroom, Guildford
https://www.facebook.com/events/433234143725578/

Saturday 30th September
Lo!, Thuum, I Saw The World Burn, Negative Thought Process, Praecantator at The Sanctuary, Basingstoke
https://www.facebook.com/events/477385599292291/

Sunday 1st October 2017
Thuum, Wytch Pycknyck, Slug13, Newts live at The Star Inn, Guildford [Leafy Incline Promotions]
https://www.facebook.com/events/1839197016332731/

Friday 6th October 2017
Trevor’s Head, Morass of Molasses, Heinous Pianist, Silent Mode at the Swamp at the Facebar.
https://www.facebook.com/events/164401130779858/

Saturday 7th October 2017
False Advertising, Silent Mode at The Sanctuary, Basingstoke
http://www.bandsintown.com/event/15119244

Friday 13th October 2017
Crisis, Deadcuts, Holy Faction at the Holroyd Arms, Guildford
https://www.facebook.com/events/449174145438567/

Saturday 14th October 2017
The Grudge, Heinous Pianist and Stone Soup at the Lounge Bar in Alton
https://www.facebook.com/events/782076291974860/

Tuesday 24th October 2017
Baby Seals, Moper and Swords of Thought at at The Star Inn, Guildford
https://www.facebook.com/events/1750740838558322/

Wednesday 1st November 2017
Syd Arthur and Vinyl Staircase at the Boileroom, Guildford.
https://www.facebook.com/events/1900143626975066/

Friday 3rd November 2017
Valerian Swing, Dialects, The Glowing Juniper and Cody Noon at The Sanctuary, Basingstoke
https://www.facebook.com/SanctuaryLiveUK/

Friday 3rd November 2017
Silverchild, Morass of Molasses, Stone Soup at the Facebar in Reading (The Swamp)
https://www.facebook.com/events/1375695992528398/

Sunday 19th November 2017
This Is Wreckage, Space Church more TBC at the Star Inn, Guildford (Buffalo Club night)
https://www.facebook.com/events/1644920612216088/

Friday 1st December 2017
Tuskar, Morass of Molasses, Slug13, The Grey (TBC) at the Facebar in Reading (The Swamp)
https://www.facebook.com/events/316946622109714/

Sunday 4th February 2018
Line-up TBC [Leafy Incline Promotions]
https://www.facebook.com/events/1965125827096664/

Past Events –

Friday 1st September 2017
Still Wave, Parachute For Gordo, Analogue Device at The Sanctuary, Basingstoke
https://www.facebook.com/events/1964523520502717/

Friday 1st September 2017
Bloodhoney, Naked Aces, Camcorder at The Rowbarge, Guildford
https://www.facebook.com/events/315773242216231/

Sunday 3rd September 2017
Punk Rock BBQ at the Star Inn, Guildford – All dayer
Spoilers, Screech Bats, Captain Trips, Emergency Bitter, Kilter, The Landings, Freakouts
https://www.facebook.com/events/323545878074179/

Monday 4th September
Train Robbers, Luna, Lupus, Stu Brootal at Komo in Guildford (UpSet)  Hip-hop / rap / etc
https://www.facebook.com/events/114926529210171/

Thursday 7th September 2017
Freakouts, Spit, Xero, Revelry and Hydrocele at the Boileroom in Guildford
https://www.facebook.com/events/1446526652049559/

Saturday 09 September 2017
Febueder, Ash The Author, Catgod, Figures of Speech, Cody Noon, Vienna Ditto at Oakford Social Club in Reading
http://www.songkick.com/concerts/30997889-febueder-at-oakford-social-club

Sunday 10th September 2017
Princess, Camcorder, Big Gruesome, Bent Ref and Silent Mode at the Star Inn, Guildford [Trial n Buffalo pt 2] – FREE
https://www.facebook.com/events/1599945420039344/
https://www.facebook.com/Trial-N-Error-Productions-1511711255801880/

Tuesday 12th September 2017
Who Saw The Light, Tuskar, Loxdown (?!?!), Daisy Chain at the Star Inn, Guildford – should be a very good one.
https://www.facebook.com/events/114455422598504/

Friday 15th September 2017
Atlantic Fire, Fainites, Andy Ruddy, Dead State and Soeur at the Boileroom, Guildford
https://www.facebook.com/events/325039217919761/

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.

ALLUSONDRUGS / Icarus Dive / Silent Mode – The Star Inn, Guildford, 30th June 2017

July 22, 2017

Silent Mode somewhat confused me when I first saw them, my fault not theirs. Second time around I just got on with enjoying their take on the desert / stoner thing. They look like a proper band. They are – to me – pretty poppy, or maybe I’m just saying that they can write a riff and a song. And they really can. I perhaps veers towards bands that are more wilfully heavy or challenging… but I’m tempted to state my take on Silent Mode in the following sentence. Of all the local bands who are, in my opinion, worth making an effort to go see, this mob (can two people be a mob?) are the most likely. Really enjoyed them… actually one more thing… there’s something really lazy and flowing and easy about the way they play.

Icarus Dive. I missed At The Drive-In first time around. Later I got into them. More recently I listened to them and wondered if I actually like them at all. I have four things to say about Icarus Dive –

(1) They remind me of At The Drive In and there’s a lot about the music to like.

(2) I don’t advise bands to have backdrop stands on stage that look like the sort of thing that you’d get in a conference centre. I would advise Coldplay against such a thing were they to be playing a conference for a group of suited business-people. I would advise Icarus Dive – playing noisy shit in a pub – against such a thing even more.

(3) They had double the crowd of the headliners and quadruple that of Silent Mode. They’ve got a decent following by the looks of it.  Impressive. They must be doing something very right.

(4) Whatever the fuck it is I don’t get it.  Sorry.

ALLUSONDRUGS are a highly rated band from Leeds who I was lead to believe were a bit psych and a bit grunge. Early on in the set I was taken back to 90/91, but thinking “ain’t this more shoegaze or Madchester than it is grunge?” I think pigeonholing this lot is a mugs game – they’re indie-rock in the widest sense; they seem to have a lot of early 90s influences, they rock, they entertain, they have a really good frontman. Not sure there was enough of a USP to blow me away, but they’re well worth seeing if you like the grungier end of indie. Fine fine band.

And something about the promoter.  Chris Jasta 11 deserves massive praise for being a guy who gets bands from all over, bands getting a bit of well-deserved attention, and damn fine local bands.

Silent Mode on Soundcloud

April 18, 2017

Desert Rock from Farnborough, in Hampshire, UK. Saw them live not so long back and enjoyed ’em… trawl through back posts if you wanna check that review out.

Whoosh, riff not too loud, drums come in, builds… the song properly kicks in at around 30 seconds… I love the repetition of the guitars in the verses.  I love the spacey sounds (phaser I think, but if I say that its bound not to be).  I love that the lead guitar, such as it is… it keeps it pretty simple too.   Most of all they have a sense of melody that comes across most in the vocals.  That was Silent Mode‘s Gasoline.

Corkscrew starts chug chug chugging, simple drums… vox come in.  Simple, ticking along… what’s gonna happen.  Drums are picking up.  Shouting, thumped drums and a dead simple riff.  We’re back to chug chug chugging.  It’s dropped right down now, vox are back.  Its picking up again.  Chorus is back.  Shouting, thumped drums and a dead simple riff.  Definitely the ‘b-side’ of the two tracks but it’s good.

If I have two issues about the scene around here it’s this –

(1)  Writing any sort of memorable song or even riff ain’t easy.  You can make amazing music without being able to write a song that sticks in the mind like “Smells Like Teen Spirit”… but for most bands a lack of a greater sense of melody holds them back somewhat.

(2)  Most bands I like tend to sound wilfully single-minded in the furrow they plough, or they sound generic and modern.  The former I prefer, all music should be uncompromising… but all music should also be aware of the world in which it lives, and even if it is a baroque / ambient math-metal hybrid it should be aiming to sell 20 million.

I am not saying Silent Mode are the next big thing, or even that they’re my favourite band around here, but I’m keeping an eye on them.  They do have a sense of melody, and to my ears they sound like they’re prepared to work with 2017 not fight it head on, whislt not sounding generic.  Go check ’em out live.

Silent Mode Official Website

Silent Mode on Soundcloud

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.