Live at Cockpit on Saturday, 5th April 2003
My first review for the site was really over indulgent in length, so I'll try to keep this one as short as possible.
Local boys, Black wire, provided the first act tonight at a rapidly filling Rocket. A clinical and quite unnatural timbre forms the sound which this three-piece offer. Driven by a cold and monotonous drum machine, and held together by intermittent bass lines and jagged guitar work, the band deliver a good performance. The vocals seem strenuous, and the pre-worked synth sounds are maybe too prominent, but there is a definite potential here for the band overall. If the bass player were to spend less time looking good, and they dropped the drum machine, Black Wire could create a more funky version of The Cooper Temple Clause. At the moment, I cant decide whether they are pushing electro clash or dire synth pop, but with some attention to writing songs I can see their particular type of noise becoming quite favourable.
When Prosaics took the stage at around 8.15, the Rocket bar had become very busy, and I was having trouble paying attention to their New York minimalist punk, because so many people were moving around the floor.
The 3 Piece can accurately be described as a more edgy and raw Interpol, sacrificing soundscapes and harmony, for a faster, harder and tighter brand of early 80's post punk.
The colour coded Rickenbackers used by the Bassist and Guitarist/Vocalist, create a visual presentation of their Black and White, neurotic, almost vacant style. The vocals are but a mere whine, but the whole performance is delivered with an effortless execution of calculated cool. Most of their songs were spearheaded by the bass lines, which complimented the turbulent rhythms superbly. Somehow though, I felt that Prosaics didn't really deliver all that they could. A fine band, but a restrained performance, and what seemed like a repetitive setlist, let them down.
Having been an ardent fan of The Rapture's spontaneous recorded sound, I was eager to see and hear what they had to offer as a live band. I was expecting to see a moody, frustrated and angular projection of their unorthodox disco. The hashed up 70's guitar lines, amid rampant beats and reckless yelps, are precision welded to lifeless 80's synth sounds. And it sounds wonderful. Raw funk, unlike no other, with the welcome addition of Sax, succeeds in creating Punk music you can dance to. A reworked version of 'Olio' preceded by a lengthy electronic intro, opens the set, and forms the blueprint for the next hour. It gets better too. At first, the audience remained relatively static, but with the emergence of 'House of Jealous Lovers' and 'Out of the Races and on to the Tracks', an electrical energy soon swept throughout the crowd, inducing grooves I had never thought possible in such a tightly filled room.
The Rapture manage to ignite their soulless and uneasy take on New York funk, with a spirit of unrelenting perseverance, that makes for a fabulous extension to the current wave of good-time Rock'n' Roll that is making guitar music great again.However, the Rapture aren't here to set trends or look good, they just want to party in way that no-one has ever attempted to, and they want everyone to join them. You won't find this atmosphere on any of the Rapture's records to date. Either too dirty and minimalist, or too club-friendly, it is only on stage where a go-between occurs. Go see this band,or you will never hear American Hardwood, Japanese Plastic and God-knows whose vocal chords, being so crudely combined, to create something so fun.