Posts Tagged ‘Tuskar’

Who Saw The Light, Tuskar, Daisy Chain – Star Inn 12th September 2017

September 15, 2017

Someone said to me this “if you review a gig you should review all the bands”. Sorry, it doesn’t work like that. For (1) I am Wild Eye, this is my blog and I can do what I want, whether that is telling people to go check out Jon White’s amazing youtube channel for awesome live heaviness [https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxKMvHJPcHmp0Z3ncOw6Nsg] or ignoring bands for whatever reason I like.  For (2) I have got absolutely nothing to say about some bands other than “not my thing” or writing an essay on why I think “straight” rock / hard rock was killed off by grunge and had literally no relevance in 1990 let alone a modicum of relevance 27 years later.

To expand a little further, my opinion on such bands is somewhere between believing that they are not really my thing but have some merit as musicians, albeit merit I struggle to appreciate, and believing that their conservative nature is a despicable sonic representation of the politics killing this country. On balance I favour the latter argument. If you sing “I love the past and I hate progress, I want to go back in time 50 years to when I could offend minorities with impunity and discriminate against them willy-nilly” then you are a fucking arsehole. If your music shouts in massive fucking capital letters “I love the past and I hate progress” then I have to be suspicious about your politics, sorry. And mainstream rock / hard rock is just fucking shit of course. It has never been part of my life and never will be.

On first Daisy Chain.  New band to me, and someone told me it was their first gig.  If so, serious hats off.  Pretty impeccable list of influences on their facebook page – Black Sabbath, Motorhead, Mudhoney, Hawkwind, Sex Pistols.  Basically they’re a fuzzy grungey rock band who are fairly traditional, but have enough of an edge to keep someone like me interested. Awesome fuzz tones, vocals which owe something to shoegaze. A lot of the newer, younger bands I find myself loving now are heavy-as, whereas Daisy Chain are much less so, though that fuzz tone is pretty heavy (by 1970s standards maybe) and f-ing awesome. If I was a wanker I might say FFO Dinosaur Jr. They sound a bit Freak.

I love the retro guitar tones, I love that they are heavy and a bit psychedelic whilst resisting the urge to go all-in in either direction (or both)… but then again could they be even more interesting if they did veer off towards insanity or genuinely, overwhelming heaviness? Who the fuck knows but I look forward to finding out.

Loxdown are “not my thing”. Sue me. Please don’t sue me.

Tuskar. Hard rocking sludge two-piece. Love the occasional Mastodonny atmospherics. So, what makes a great pop band? Great songs and a beat you can dance to! What makes a great sludge band? Great riffs and a beat that fucking rocks! Tyler’s drums are as heavy and aggressive as you could wish for, but I think it might be a hint of  genuine funk in there too that makes them special. Tom’s riffs fucking rock, his guitar sound is heavy and full, another fucking EHX POG I presume. I want a POG and a HOG and in fact I actually WANT ALL OF THE FUCKING PEDALS.

They play a few songs off Arianrhod – the ep that I managed to get an early copy of before their signing to Riff Rock who will be re-releasing it soon. It is a serious ep. Buy it when it comes out. I can’t speak for the room, but I can speak of my experience in it. So easy to lose yourself in a maelstrom of fuzz and battering drums, so much energy in the thrashier bits. The room went mental and I’m guessing this was kinda an appreciation thing.

I’m honestly not envious of any band that has to follow Tuskar. Who Saw The Light get away with it with ease, they almost match the heaviness of Tuskar, and they out-weird them by miles. Tuskar are the band you can be sure will carry you across the ocean; Who Saw The Light are gonna shove you in a rocket-ship and you have no idea whether you’re gonna reach the stars or you’re gonna explode on launch… fuck they might even set the controls for the heart of the sun. Man. Fucking hippies. Hippy punk metaller freaks I meant. But either way, even if you die on the fucking launchpad, you’ll be happy. Or something. Does this metaphor work?

Where was I?

They start with Lightsaber Cocksucking Blues again. They end with Bangerz if memory serves. Fuck knows what they play in the middle, probably a few off their Psychedelic Philosophy EP. I’m not sure the extent to which they are getting tighter as a band or more focussed in their ideas – maybe quite a lot but maybe not at all. I do know that the more I see them the less random they appear, though the genre-defying madness is still there.  Is this more to do with me getting used to them or are they changing / progressing?  No idea, but I do know they have the riffs and the craziness to get a crowd going, whilst someone pit-averse like me can stand to the side and just grin for 30 minutes at the life-affirming show they put on.  Seriously, I’d expect a band to have really catchy poppy songs, with humour in the lyrics, to make me grin like this. And they’re political. Explicitly and implicity.

Fuck they’re good.

Pretty full room a first band on that went down well and the two main acts managed to absolutely destroy the back room of a pub in fucking Guildford on a fucking Tuesday night. Chapeau.

Advertisements

Current Top Four

July 22, 2017

I did a Top 10 local bands a while back. I have an updated top 4, best-of-the-rest better follow.

Three of them are playing tomorrow (not all together).

Guildford and surrounds we have, in alphabetical order –

Moper – didn’t much like them when I first heard them but they’re just getting better and better with each release. Depressing, simple, noise rock, often not that heavy, but it just works, probably because they have some amazing songs and a vocalist / lyricist (and guitarist) who sorta of reminds me of Andrew Falcous.

https://mopernoise.bandcamp.com/

Pensevor – dirty, droning, did I say dirty, raw, filthy, doom. Surprisingly delicate, interesting, fantastic drumming, steady bass that just does the job, one of the most imposing and vulnerably aggressive front men you will ever see… and the icing on the cake, some of the filtiest and heaviest guitars you will ever hear with tone to die for. Damn near perfect.

https://pensevor432.bandcamp.com/

Tuskar – sludge, doom, stoner heavy-as guitar-drums two piece. Tyler is an animal on drums whilst covering vocals. Riffs applenty, verges on metal in places. In a good way.

https://tuskar.bandcamp.com/

Who Saw The Light – heavy, nuts. Not many bands can claim doom as the main vocal style whilst having music that encompasses prog, shoegaze (occasionally), metal, hardcore punk, math, pretty much everything. First ep out tomorrow.

https://www.facebook.com/whosawthelight/

Tuskar – Arianrhod ep

June 10, 2017

Cos I couldn’t go see ’em tonight… fuck holidays…

I have listened to it 15 times now, roughly.  Guesstimate based on 12 plays on my iTunes, and the fact I’ve been listening to it the iPod as well.  Probably an under-guesstimate.  That said I have partly been listening it so much cos I’ve been trying to work out how to review it and it’s bloody hard.  I like banging on and expressing my opinions, but I just don’t know sludge well enough to have a strong opinon where it falls in the genre.

Gonna start on the mix… Are the drums a touch quiet, and the vocals a touch-and-a-bit too quiet or is it me? Not a big issue, more an observation.  Does being bassless add anything?  Does it take anything away?  Not sure, but gut feel – consider a bassist, though maybe they like the way it works live as a two piece and they’re not gonna be a bassless band on stage and use bass on the records.

The only other criticisms I’m gonna make of this sludge ep are these.  The worst bits aren’t as good as the best bits, and I’d rather listen to The Melvins.  None of these things are really criticism.

Fateweaver, drums, feedback… quite epic… changes massively and speeds up circa 3.40 in, ends with more feedback, straight into Where Strides The Colossus. Better riff.  Toegrinder reminds me a touch of Mastodon, but then again WTF do I know about metal?  Not.  A. Lot.  Bit of light relief part way through.  Moon Hooch, starts heavy and slow and feedback again. Best riff yet, Melvins-like?  This track is actually fucking great. Crimson Skull, slow start, chuggiest track.

I really like it, I just don’t know the competition well enough to know whether they’re a fine band who you should check out if your a fan of the genre, or if you like heavy music and they’re playing near you… or are they damn good, worthy of massive hyperbole? Suppose I better check out a shit load more sludge, and keep an eye on what they’re doing, and maybe sometime I’ll work it out.

Tuskar on Facebook

Another non-review – Who Saw The Light / Tuskar / Lowdown – Star Inn, 18th May 2017

May 21, 2017

I missed Lowdown.  Well, I caught a touch… they’re a young, mainstream rock act.  I think.  The singer can sing.  I love to see a musician looking like they’re having as much fun on stage as the bassist appeared to be… but ultimately not my thing at all.

I’ve met Tyler once before, and he cornered me after the gig tonight.  He plays drums in Tuskar.  He sings.  He wanted to know what I thought of his band.  Why?  My opinion is everything, I buy that, but kinda only to me.  One might argue my opinion is nothing.

I started talking.  He seemed to think I wasn’t overly impressed.  I’m not one to bullshit what people want to hear.  I could’ve just said “really great, man, loved it!” and I wouldn’t have been dishonest, but me and my big gob tried to be more honest… and it’s hard to get across exactly what you wanna say, especially briefly and when you’re knackered and you’ve just had a few drinks watching a couple of fuck off noisy metal / doom / sludge / whatever bands.

I was happy to be cornered.   I love talking music.  I enjoyed Tuskar a lot.  Sludgey, doomy shit, heavy-as guitar / drums two-piece.  Someone – someone who knows a load more than me technically – said three things.  Tyler is a fucking good drummer.  Tuskar have developed as a band to a point well ahead of their years.  They convince.

I buy these assertions 100%.  They are a ‘proper band’.  Some bands sound more like musicians playing together, especially when they’re young and starting out.  Tuskar are a proper fucking band.

I don’t see tons of ACM stuff, and what I do see is mainly the noisier end, so I’m probably missing loads of good bands over the last few years… but Tuskar are only the third name on my list of “proper bands” I’ve seen live coming out of ACM over the last few years.  Following Foxes, Who Saw The Light, Tuskar.  I have no doubt Blackwaters could be added to the list but I ain’t seen them live.

So, what could have made me go “fucking amazing” without a fraction of second’s hesitation when Tyler asked what I thought?

(1)  If I was more of a sludge / stoner / doom expert then I’d have a better idea of just how good they are in the context of the style of music they make.  But I’m not.  All I can really say is that it’s a style I really like, they do it well and I look forward to seeing them again.  But I have no real idea where they sit in the genre, who are most similar to them, how good they are in comparison to their closest rivals.

(2)  Here’s where things get tricky.  Songs.  There’s loads of bands locally who I really love going to see live.  Tuskar can be added to the list.  The main thing that they don’t tend to have – that the very best bands do – is fucking great songs.  Songs that get in your head damn quick and just stay there.  It might be kinda obvious, it might go without saying, but my advice (easier said than done) to just about every band I go see is “give everything you’ve got to writing the best songs you can.  I know you’re not pop, but catchy is generally good, and I’d advise you to take something from pop.”  As I say, easier said than done.  That said I really need to listen to the ep [Tuskar – Arianrhod] half a dozen times and see them live a few more times before I really judge the songs… but pretty much every band on the planet could do with a few better songs.

(3)  Innovation.  The greatest bands were innovators.  Black Flag and The Melvins are two bands I fucking love – they are both great, they both have great songs… but most impressively they have helped create genres and influence thousands of bands (probably tens of thousands of bands!)  There is nothing wrong with finding your niche and trying to play a certain style or combination of styles well, but set your sights at the stars, and try to find a way to take it – your music – no not just your music, music generally – to the next level.

When I go see live music in small venues I’m kinda judging every band against both ends of the spectrum.  On the one hand I can love a band simply because they put a smile on my face, get the foot tapping or rock hard.  On the other, to be great they need to do what the likes of Blacks Sabbath and Flag did.  Write numerous great songs that have not only been loved by fans across the world, but which have influenced the course of music history.  I don’t fuck around, I demand a lot.

TLDR – I really liked Tuskar, look forward to seeing them again and seeing them get better… but I wanna see them write their own Feel Good Hit of the Summer and change the course of metal history, and they ain’t getting 100% praise til they’ve done both those things.  Now fucking get to work.

I could say many similar things about Who Saw The Light, but there’s a couple things that have that do make them stand out.  There have a sense of anarchy, chaos and danger that is very difficult to pull off.  Their somewhat eclectic, all-over-the-fucking-place-style is much less easy to pigeonhole, and easier to picture developing into something that not only rocks but also influences others.

Two fine fine bands.

Check out Who Saw The Light again at the Star tonight.  Get there early – its an all dayer.  Check out Tuskar’s ep.

And fuck it, do one more thing –

Lost in Venice, Who Saw the Light, Tuskar – Noise Theory – ACM – Star Inn Guildford, January 16th 2017

January 17, 2017

Tuskar – first on.  Got there too late, sorry Tuskar, missed you.  Are you this Tuskar?  http://picbear.com/tuskar.band  If so you might be pretty good, or even better?  Tuskar reminds me of Tosca, which reminds me of Fosca which is the name of a band I know nothing about who rose from the ashes of the incredible, mid-90s, Tim Chipping-fronted Orlando.

Lost in Venice – on last, pretty good in places.  Noisy.  Overall not my thing.  They describe themselves thus –

“FOR STONER ROCK, LOST IN VENICE ARE THE SCORCHING HEAT OF THE SUN AS IT BEATS DOWN ON THE DESERT. DESTROYING VENUES WITH THEIR SANDSTORM OF FUZZ AND FILTHY RIFFS THAT PUNCH YOU STRAIGHT IN THE GUTS.”

Not sure about that.  Maybe.  They did a Reuben cover. 

Who Saw the Light

Wowsers.  They describe themselves thus –

“three piece – heavy experimental band , music consist of a mixture of spacerock and psychedelic vibes with heavy distorted riffs. The name of the band comes from Plato’s Allegory of the Cave . In short words, the music is supposed to get people out of their comfort zone and make them question their strongest beliefs regarding contemporary music and everything it stands for.”

And –

“Progressive / Mathcore / Stoner / Psychedelic / Post-Metal”

Not sure about the first one.  Maybe.  I re-paste and put in bold what I saw to be true when I saw them –

three piece – heavy experimental band , music consist of a mixture of spacerock and psychedelic vibes with heavy distorted riffs. The name of the band comes from Plato’s Allegory of the Cave . In short words, the music is supposed to get people out of their comfort zone and make them question their strongest beliefs regarding contemporary music and everything it stands for.

I am going to try to list the genres present in their set.  And by that I mean actually played briefly, as opposed to simply influences.  Alphabetical order –

Ambient, Doom, Funk-Metal, Grunge (early 90s definition), Indie, Math, Metal, party-band (not really a genre, but I swear there was a point they were basically a party-band), Prog, Rap, Shoegaze (maybe, certainly an experimental noise element), Thrash.

I’m actually surprised I can’t remember more.

Most young bands seem to take one, maybe two genres and try to perfect one or make something a little new out of two new-ish ideas.  “Who Saw the Light ” (shit name, could work) just chuck everything in the mix.  They give the distinct impression they could be a decent metal band, or damn fine doom band.  They do grunge really well.  Yet it’s all backed up by a progressive, mathy vibe and definitely a “we REAALLLY don’t give a fuck” attitude.

The ambient bit at the start of one song was a bit boring.  You can do mellow better than that, boys.  The indie bit was pointless and pretty crap.  But the rest was pretty fucking good.  I seriously worried when it went all rap, but they somehow pulled it off and I was grinning like a Cheshire Cat at their sheer audacity.

They are not the finished article.  They need a lot more focus.  But their basic principal, weird mathy metal with all sorts chucked in, really works.  They rock.  They get funky.  If you can’t see beyond doom they’ll give you a song or two.  They sound nothing like this band, but they do remind me of them, massively.  Butthole Surfers.  I mentioned them briefly on this blog a month or two back, and then I see Who Saw the Light and see a Butthole Surfers don’t-give-a-fuck attitude in a big way. Not at all serious, whilst mixing things up in a way that you just don’t do unless your serious.

Best ACM band I have seen since Following Foxes (who were not my thing on any level, but absolutely killed what they were doing.  Gideon I think was the singer song-writer.  You have something, but so did the rest of Following Foxes.  I hope you’re all moving on to bigger and better things.)