Posts Tagged ‘Britney’

Christopher Nosnibor

My appreciation of the debut album by Leeds noisemongers Irk is already out in the public domain, as is my admiration of their capacity as a live act. It was only fitting that they should launch their debut album at Chunk, the rehearsal space which has become the hub of the new Leeds underground / alternative scene which has begun to emerge since the Brudenell – still the best venue in the country – has become increasingly popular and catering ever more to bigger-name acts. And there’s no escaping the fact that without the tiny venues, the microscenes, the free and cheap spaces where anything goes, there’d be nowhere for the bands of the future to explore and develop ideas free from the limitations of marketability and the pressure to achieve success. Commercialism strangles creativity, and we need the obscure band who want to fuck shit up more than ever in these desperate times in the stranglehold of corrupt, constricting neoliberalist capitalism which is not-so-slowly eroding every real freedom for the ordinary person.

Chunk is so no-budget, so DIY that there’s no licence for tonight’s (free) event: its BYOB, and people file in with carrier bags containing four-packs and the atmosphere is just so laid back that my anxieties about finding the place (Chunk is hidden through a door up some steps (which I worry I may fall down on my way out) next to a car repair place in an industrial area two miles out into the arse-end of nowhere) and all of the other stuff I panic about but tend not to talk about evaporate almost immediately. There are friendly faces, faces I recognise, faces I can chat to, and it feels more like a house party than a gig.

Only, there’s a gig PA and there are bands, and Beige Palace are on first. I note that they’ve been using a quite from a review I wrote of their live debut on my only previous visit to Chunk in the summer of 2016, which says ‘Beige Palace make sparse-sounding music that’s jarring, dissonant and hints at a clash between early Pram and No Wave angularity.’ Two yeas on, it still seems a fair summary. ‘It’s not math-rock’, their diminutive and moustachioed front man, Freddy Vinehill-Clifee forewarns the audience before they begin their set. He’s right. It’s atonal, droney, repetitive noise-rock with an almost spoken word delivery. Kelly Bishop’s flat, elongated vowels are reminiscent of Mark E. Smith in the early years of The Fall. They’re bursting with nagging, awkward guitar lines and clattering percussion playing unusual time signatures, too. So, like math-rock, only not. Or something. But it’s not about labels, but the music, and while they’re still rough ‘n’ ready, their confidence and intuition has evolved a lot over the last two years, and they turn in a more than decent performance.

Beige

Beige Palace

It was the release of BRITN3Y that brought deranged Edinburgh 3-piece Britney to my attention, and I’d been itching to see them live ever since. They don’t disappoint. Comprising bass – through a fuckload of pedals; vocals – through an even bigger fuckload of pedals; – and drums, they deliver sonic riots in the form of blistering sub-two-minute noisefests. Occasionally, chuggy riffs and even grooves emerge from the screaming, spasmodic mess, albeit fleetingly. It hurts after two songs. It hurts a whole lot better after ten. The speaker a foot from my right ear is sounding like it’s fucked and they just fuck it harder with a relentless barrage of explosive, brutal hybridized noise that draws on elements of metal, hardcore, and grindcore and Final Fantasy (the victory fanfare is a recurrent feature throughout their set and closes it, too, while the infamous Tidus Laugh from FF X also features). They’re joined at the end by NALA for some screaming vocals to wrap up set appropriately culminates in an ear-splitting wall of noise, and I’m not the only one blown away.

Britney

Britney

It turns out that Jack Gordon still has the copy of The Rage Monologues from the time we exchanged books. He’s read my review of the album, and during our brief exchange, I’m reminded that so many of the people who make art that pushes extremities, in whatever way, are the most pleasant, polite, and mild-mannered people you could wish to meet. It’s their outlet, and it’s what keeps them sane. Better to make brutal art than commit mass murder. Probably. Jack – bespectacled, sporting jacket and chinos and looking like any other smart-casual office worker – is a nice guy. But with the aid of a PA, a backline, and a bottle of Buckfast, he brings the brutality.

DSCF7106

Irk

If the disappearance of Blacklisters from the Leeds scene following Billy Mason-Wood’s departure for Germany left a jagged, gaping hole, then Irk more than manage it fill it with their own rendition of that Jesus Lizard, Touch ‘n’ Go skewed 90s US noise-rock racket. The trio are quite a different proposition and are very much their own people, but the comparisons and local lineage are impossible to ignore. And in this enclosed space, with the volume at pulverising levels and the warmth of community and camaraderie only adding to that of the proximity of bodies, everything comes together perfectly.

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Britney – Britn3y

Posted: 16 February 2016 in Albums
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Superstar Destroyer – 11th March 2016

James Wells

Not so much a drone as a collective groaning sigh prefaces the thunderous barrage of brutal rage that splits the speaker cones with pummelling drums and bursts of screaming vocal anguish and stop/start guitar judders. ‘Fully Ben’ assails the lugholes like Truman’s Water having been tortured, brutally murdered, butchered and cast forth to crawl around in purgatory. Fuck me. Three minutes in and I’m dizzy, punch-drunk, giddy and utterly bewildered – in the kind of way I like. And that pretty much sets the tone for this most manic, frenzied albums.

Where do you even begin with this white-hot torrent of noise? The tempos, man! The jolting, jarring, spasmodic guitars! What is this? It’s not metal, that’s for sure. Noisy math-rock? Math-rock is about intricacy, and this is intricate in terms of structure and changing tempos and time-signatures, but at the same time, it’s violent, frenetic. The vocals aren’t your regular shouty, screamy effort, either– this is the sound of pure mania, derangement to the power of 10. Not so much psychedelic as psychotic, the songs – the majority of which clock in at under two minutes – melt into one another, a crazed blur of spasmodic noise.

It’s intense, but not conventionally heavy: the guitars are warped, elastic, and don’t rely on hefty distortion. ‘Neon Python’ sounds like a collision of early Pulled Apart by Horses and second-album These Monsters – only with more drugs. Seriously, what are these guys on?

There are occasional breaks – ‘Sleep Now Dogman’ provides two minutes of respite in the form of some woozy percussion-free experimentalism while someone chunders their guts up, presumably a physical reaction to the exertion of the preceding track – but ultimately, this is beyond full-on, Especially after the, er, ‘interlude’.

‘Boss Moggy’ goes electro-math-screamo – or something and ‘Gum’ ups the tempo and the racket even further, achieving the effect of a sonic blizzard. You don’t know where you are or what you’re listening to, it’s a total whiteout. Britn3y isn’t an album – it’s a convulsive, abrasive explosion of noise, the aural equivalent of someone’s brains bursting from their skull while they twitch uncontrollably having been connected to an open mains electrical circuit. In short, it sounds exactly the way the cover looks.

If you’re in any doubt, I mean it’s good. Mental, but really, really good.

Britn3y

Britn3y by Britney Online