9th November 2012

So another night in Newcastle and two of my favourite bands were unhappily playing on the same night. I Shunned the all-out hair metal parody and all round good times of Steel Panther, in orderto be found in the relatively meek surrounds of Trillian’s Rock Bar. Not a bad place actually, a basement pub with plenty of authenticity, you feel the walls have many tales to tell of wild nights in the past.

Tonight there were three young math rock inspired bands out to make an impression. Each at different points down the music career river…

Near the rivers mouth we find the unpredictable, twisting, Human Sacrifice Club at their humble beginnings. A band full of youthful wide eyed enthusiasm and energy whose rawkus duelling math rock riffs presented an unrestricted and thoroughly enjoyable set of melodic indie guitars. Vocals were yelped with a fierce intent as were their numerous noise rock outs. This Jekyll and Hyde set of carefully crafted songs (a la Maps + Atlases) and riotous chaos was as thrilling as it was addictive. I hope the river takes them on the course to a record deal sometime soon, my eyes are peeled!

Gallops

Further down the river are Gallops, who (for purposes of this analogy) are floating along near the mouth. After flowing for some time they have arrived here and in the process have lost much of their earlier power and are happy to sway gently with the tide. Being a predominantly electronic outfit their looped beats were absolutely hypnotic, coasting me to sleep as the loops kicked and the keys tinkled. Only woken by the karrang of the guitars when they interspersed the ambient ramblings. One for a casual listen i feel, but they failed to engage me enough tonight.

Maybeshewill

By contrast Maybeshewill have escaped the repetitive motions of a river and are out in the unhinged wilderness of the ocean. It the same stroke of their thunderous guitars they are ‘The perfect storm’ at the same time stunningly beautiful and immensely powerful like a great force of nature. Waves of massive guitar power chords crash down over the crowd at every turn, turbulence thrashing through the air only to be broken by still and melodic keyboard breaks. But the threat is always menacing and as always it returns to kick your ass once again till the final chord rings. Performance wise these guys have the whole shebang, precise musicianship (even swapping instruments), coordinated head thrashing and bursting energy. Plus they are very polite, even asking very nicely for the crowd to come forwards with a meek restraint in their voice. A thinking man’s heavy rock this was and the crowd demographic of students and oldies backs this claim (for big dumb fun, see Steel Panther above). They played the pick of the tracks from their latest LP including loud/soft rocker Accolades, sweetly tapped lighter waver Red Paper Lanterns and the euphoric piano driven Critical Distance whilst not turning their back on mathier outings such as Japanese Spy Transcript and the epic closer Paris Hilton Sex Tape.

A great mathty “ebb and flow’ of bands, to whom it was hard to ‘wave’ goodbye.