Posted by Rebecca Atkinson.
Reviewed on 13th October 2011.
Live at The Library on Friday, 7th October 2011
First up on tonight's 360 Club showcase of local unsigned talent are Six O'Clock Showdown. Their indie rock 'n' roll has a distinctly Northern flavour with accented vocals and contagious riffs not unlike the Artic Monkeys (circa 2007) and The Cribs. The bass parts are especially solid as the rhythm section mirrors the shout along gang vocals well on tracks largely about 'going out and having a good time'. The set ends well with some more tropical Vampire Weekend-y material which sounds surprisingly fresh and proves that the band have their finger firmly on the popular music pulse. It's an upbeat, entertaining, relatable set with well written songs and really very little to dislike.
The wonderfully named Tsar Nicholas III And The Exiles are next up led by an enigmatic denim clad front man who looks like Jarvis cocker's long lost brother but sounds like the irreverent prot? of Nick Cave. The group play brooding bluesy Americana with just the right amount of insanity and a generous dose of unusual instruments including saxophone, melodica and a Vibraslap. The songs are stripped down but not sparse as the emphasis falls largely on the dark but humorous story based lyrics and the jaunty sax/bass work. It's a refreshingly unique performance and fans of Tom Waits and The Birthday Party will fins a lot to enjoy here.
360 Club veterans Alaska are looking very dapper this evening all suited and booted as they bring a healthy measure of surreal American to a Friday night in Leeds. Musically they borrow from garage punk, psychedelic rock and (dare I say) 'intelligent' indie; think Pavement meets Pink Floyd. Their songs are wonderfully unpredictable varying between sprawling and compact, surf influenced and desolate but all with equal capability. The reverb laden vocals fit well echoing the guitar which, at the start of 'Girl especially, is obscenely infectious. Their first performance here was outstanding and since then they have gone from strength to strength working their way up the bill and they certainly deserve all of the applause with which their set is met this evening.
Born out of the same scene that has recently produced Eagulls and Avaries, InSatellites provide an angular and interesting end to the evening. There are post rock breakdowns galore alongside ominous guitar parts and several songs which sound uncannily like System Of A Down's 'Aerials'. A beautiful mid-set cover of Jose Gonzales 'Teardrop' is spoilt slightly by the squalling guitar but overall it's a bold performance indicative of a young band not afraid of experimenting as they settle into their sound. They are an exciting prospect and as you watch their introverted and concentrated performance you cant help but feel that that they should be playing to a bigger crowd than the one that has stuck around to see them close the show tonight.
Twangy/distorted catchy guitar riffs, rocking beats, accented vocals