Call me Russ L

Shabba Rangst

Posted in Music by Russ L on 7 January, 2006

Originally posted on 25/9/5.

Given that A) this is an online diary and B) it’s being written by a miserable git of Marvin-esque proportions (well… sometimes), I’ve by and large managed to avoid mass-angst so far. Sooner or later, though, these things have to turn emo…

I’ll keep it quick-ish as I’m not deluded enough to assume that anyone actually cares, but I’m not really a sociable kind of person, and just lately I’ve been even worse. With only a few individual exceptions, I’ve really been finding it hard to take people in general recently. Monday (20/9/4) I went to a gig, and (besides getting completely fed up and leaving before the headliners) I was probably quite rude to a few people. Good, nice people tried to talk to me and got nothing back. I’m not ever that much of a conversationalist unless I already know you well, basically because I’m very shy, but this night was bad even by my own standards. I try not to be an arsehole; my trying often appears to not make any difference.

I’m sorry to everyone/anyone to whom I should be sorry, anyway.

The gig itself, despite being hailed beforehand as event of the century by some, didn’t (in terms of bands) look extraordinarily appealing to me in advance. Headlining were Daughters from Canada (or are they American? Dunno. Do your own research), by whom I’ve heard quite a few different bits and bobs. I always found them to be alright/listenable, but really very similar to all the other fast-fast/heavy-heavy/grindy-grindy bands that all sound exactly the same to anyone who isn’t sad enough to be an aficionado of whatever particular obscure metal sub-genre they are. The main support were Army Of Flying Robots, who I’d heard a couple of tracks by and didn’t impress me at all. Rounding it off were Tigers! (also from Nottingham I believe. Or possibly Up North. Again, do your own research if you’re bothered) who I had no idea whatsoever about, and local openers Death Of A Champion who I’d seen twice before and quite liked. I may as well not have gone at all, then, but I had a couple of other reasons to turn up – not least amongst them that this gig had been designated fancy dress. I didn’t have a costume myself, but I was intrigued – normally you would only expect one person to arrive dressed up and then spend all night looking embarrassed about it, but in this instance a lot of people on the messageboards had insisted that they were going to partake. On the night, there were a couple of pirates, a couple of twenties/thirties American gangsters, and the first band were cowboys and cowgirl. One chap had also donned a stick-on moustache and beard. I have no idea what or who he was meant to be.

Death Of A Champion were on first, anyway, in full wild-western regalia. I enjoyed their set, more than I expected to. I don’t know why, as I’ve quite liked them both times I saw them before this, but I was expecting not to get too much out of them. They play screamo type stuff, with lots of twisty-turny changey bits. I’m told they sound almost exactly like Crimson Curse, although not being cool I haven’t heard CC and thus wouldn’t have the foggiest idea. I generally tend to like your workaday noisy bands more when I see them live than on record, but some of DOAC’s songs (while not being especially memorable in themselves) sound like they could actually be enjoyable to listen to at home.

Tigers! were second, playing a similar-ish kind of twisty-turny changey stuff; but probably not quite as fun. Still perfectly watchable, although I was getting a bit fed up by the end; I could also imagine the singer’s yelping voice causing me to gnaw on the inside of my gums if subjected to prolonged exposure to it. They wore masks and shiny tops and things; I get the impression that this was their usual schtick, rather than anything to do with it being a fancy dress night.

As I’ve said, I’d heard a couple of tracks by Army Of Flying Robots prior to this and they didn’t seem that good. Obviously I’d just picked the wrong ones to download. I’d got the idea they were a grindy/thrashpunk/power-violence/you know the sort of thing band, and maybe it’s me getting more cynical in my old age but these days I really find that if you’ve heard a fast blastbeat ‘n’ thrash part from one band, you’ve heard 99% of all of ‘em. I realise that’s just a question of which particular aesthetics you prefer, and that there are probably people who say the same thing about groove-based music, but… well, with very few exceptions I really find it impossible to view that kind of thing as substance anymore. Aaaaaaanyway…. Seeing them live, they aren’t just like that – they have (it seemed) just as many mid-paced chuggy head-nodding parts, and bloody hell their performance rocked. There was a real feeling of strain being released with explosions of grindy stuff, and while that grindy stuff wasn’t in itself anything other than the monotonously regular, it did the job within context. Does that make sense?

After that, I went home, anyway. I’m sure Daughters were lovely, but I’d really had enough of being out in public.

– Russ L



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