Live at Cockpit on Thursday, 12th July 2012
The show kicked off with electro quintet Atlas. Their mellow approach to dubstep was atmospheric and beautifully ambient. Their music was exceptionally subtle and their minimalistic tones and harmony between the shimmering guitars especially was admirable. However, they were quite sloppy and strayed from the backing track rhythm in places, but improved as the set progressed. The music was quite repetitive, and lacked development, meaning it failed to stand out. The stage presence was fairly poor and there was no communication present with the crowd. Despite achieving a good drum tone reminiscent of Burial, their use of backing tracks was excessive. The female vocalist was tuneful, but lacked in charisma and was not effective as a front-woman. This band is making good dance music, and I am confident they will produce fantastic records. However, their live show performance certainly needs developing for future shows.
On the other hand, These Monsters were brimming with energy and personality. The lead vocalist and guitarist introduced himself and his band amidst glugs of wine, and he was either putting on a great act or sincerely and utterly drunk. As for the music, they entered boldly and fairly discordantly, which became a theme for their set. Their screamo punky style was bass-ridden and aggressive, and the lyrical style was odd to say the least. To name an example, wailing feedback underpinned a lengthy rant about the dilemmas of buying business cards. They were immaculately tight, but the music was fairly tedious, lacked intricacy and rarely surpassed basic rhythms from the drums and bass. However, their crowd interaction was incredible, and despite the power failing halfway through the set, the front-man kept the crowd entertained with witty banter and post-watershed anecdotes. A very good set indeed, purely for the band's unique charisma.
Finally, the headliners and eagerly awaited 65daysofstatic took to the stage. Despite being a great fan of their music, this was my first time seeing this band, and from their recordings, I had very high expectations. It is safe to say they exceeded them all. They entered amidst a huge wall of bassy, electronic noise, overcut by an electronic voice spookily counting the days of 'radio silence' and building great tension in one of the most wonderfully crafted introductions I've heard. The band entered in sequence, slowly building upon an electro-style droning. The bass ripped through the Cockpit in a way I'd never heard before. There was such beauty and such minimalistic qualities to their music, and they recaptured and delivered so much emotion through their instrumental music. Even through their mellowed introduction, there was such energy and passion communicated. Their combination of raw rock and electronic flow added such colour and texture to the gig, and complimented by a splendid light show, they set the crowd alight, whom had been fairly unmoved by the previous two bands. This is a magnificent band of composers who love their music and are writing music at the highest degree, and whom delivered a stunning performance, deserving of a much larger audience. I'm running out of superlatives, so I'll shut up now and finish up by simply encouraging you to listen to this fantastic band.
Atlas are a band who focus on making melodic, original and meaningful music.