Live at The Library on Friday, 1st April 2011
With the student population decimated for April it's a more chilled night at the Library. However, the atmosphere's no less buzzing and the line-up's no less varied. Tonight sees the first 360 appearance of (OK) reincarnation, Vincent Massive.
Opening the night is a set from Ryan ROCKiT and it turns out however evolved and distinguished (read, pretentious) your music taste is, this guy will have you rolling around in the mud with the other pigs. To call his sound commercial is an understatement; this is commercial for the mid-80s. Innocent, cringe-worthy lyrics about holidays and ladyfolk crossed with cheesy synths and backing tracks and you know what? It's fucking brilliant. You could get all high and mighty about innovation but to be honest, the production is great and for what it is Ryan Rockit holds up with the best of them. My only complaint is that I'd love to see him with a whole band but his set made for a cracking opening to the night. Massive guilty pleasure.
Having calmed down after the excessive retro giddiness inspired by Ryan ROCKiT, Vincent Massive set up to show us what's what. This is guitar indie at its very best - engaging, thought out and convincing. Speedy lyrics delivered with passion and the sections bleed into one another nicely. Instrument changes executed accurately, they show all the signs of being an excellent live band. Even the absence of onstage laptop didn't seem to hinder them as their tracks push on. Plenty of variety to their sound too, from the banjo tinged Mantra to the always moving Motorway Suicide. It's passionate and charismatic - very promising stuff.
Next up comes Bear Mask with a sound that's very familiar, not because it's conventional (and it's definitely not) but because it turns out these bastards live next door to me and I can hear it through the walls when I'm trying to get to sleep. Turns out it's much better live than through a wall. In fact it's really good - it kind of reminds me of a much softer take on the Castrovalva aesthetic (much softer mind). Either a synth or guitar line with soft, bitter quasi-rap over the top of a dancey drum beat, the music is engaging. The vocals come through in a truly pathetic, vulnerable whine but in a way that works absolutely with the rest of the band. In many ways it's like 80s synth pop brought into the 21st century and highly commendable for it. One to watch out for.
Closing the night is the decidedly punk-rock InSatellites with an energetic opening song, battling valiantly against a sadly diminished crowd. It's a shame too because these lads have a well polished sound. There's nothing new about their sound, reminded me a lot of Queens of the Stone Age, but that's not a bad thing. They play convincingly and had more of the crowd stuck around till the end then Insatellites efforts would have gone more appreciated. Still, a strong end to another brilliant night.
Catchy warm pop colliding (violently) with clangy telecaster riffage, and electro doodle hooks on the keys.
Something a Little Different for You