Live at Carpe Diem on Thursday, 2nd July 2009
It was great to see Carpe Diem so packed out for a good cause, Unity Day. After a swift sound check, and being introduced to be from California, Leeds's Acid Drop started off the night. The theme of this night seemed to be the out of ordinary and Acid Drop were no different. The first thing that struck me about this band was their sheer energy and enthusiasm. The crowd were there with them too, Acid Drop rallied their troops up into a frenzy claiming "if you're not gonna start anything then we will". At every opportunity the lead singer ran into the crowd and a mass jig soon followed.
The music falls somewhere in-between NOFX, Bad Religion and Rancid but with a bit of folk and reggae thrown in too. "Winston Smith" references George Orwell's book Nineteen Eighty-Four and is about the everyman's struggle against the dictatorship of Big Brother. Other songs follow similar suit, 'You're gonna pay' with its instantly catchy hook "No more tears, no more lies, no more messing with our minds". And "Polly Piper" brought a refreshing change to the set, their trumpet accompanist came on and skanking ensued. They have hit a balance; their songs are a perfect blend of attitude and meaning but also sound great and make you move. Acid Drop are definitely a band to keep track of, and could explode into something great in the near future.
Elephants On Acid are a mish-mash of anything psychedelic and 70's sounding. In 1962 Warren Thomas, the director of Lincoln Park Zoo in Oklahoma City, gave LSD for the first time to an Elephant. Thinking he was going to make a major contribution to science, within moments Tusko began trumpeting furiously, then keeled over and died. So whether this band believes in the welfare of Elephants or just like silly names I don't know, probably both. They seem to be a very spontaneous creation. Their biography states that after two days of jamming in a Hyde Park basement they decided to record their first EP and that was it, Elephants On Acid were born.
The drummer has a hint of the blues brothers about him, with his shades on, expressionless. He laid down a solid base for the rest of the band to work around, allowing them to be free in their music. The guitarist rips out Jimi-esque solos and often doubles this with raspy, bluesy vocal lines, to great effect. The keyboardist, in sound, can be given a direct comparison to Ray Manzarek from the Doors. And when the bass player was allowed to shine through, he came out with an unexpected slap bass solo, nice.
China Shop Bull gave a great end to the evening: drum n' bass mixed with dub and ska. This was something worth getting your dancing shoes on for. I can imagine this band lifting the atmosphere of a tea party into a rave. This fun loving, seven-piece band mix horns, rap, a lot of noise, tight drums and moving bass lines to make every song a highlight. However one that really stood out for me was Prodigy's "Out of Space". Somehow they managed to pull this song off and make it their own. There isn't much else to say about this band, just go and see them, now.
Blues / Garage / Psychedelic
Leeds Skatecore Punk