Live at Packhorse on Thursday, 1st November 2001
Not being witness to the rebirth of Chevron on Tuesday (jazz odyssey, anyone?) here I am, two days two late with the latest news as usual, and wondering why I only ever seem to write reviews of Chevron and Herrod gigs.
Chevron, in case you're wondering, have recruited two new members (Neil, once of 5'4", is now their second guitarist and vocalist, while Dan of Bobby Six Killer is in charge of making noises with a 505).
It's evident even from the very outset of tonight's show that things need to change massively to make these two new additions be part of the sound. Previously, with the three of them, chevron had built up a symbiosis which relied on delicate interplay and now the scales don't balance. In songs where the wilful individuality of the band had reached its apex (like the opening instrumental), it seems that Neil and Dan are struggling to find a space to fit themselves into.
However, at times it works great; in Eden, having someone to sing the song allows Whiskas to devote full attention to his axe and Neil to sing the song as it should be. Dan has invented some rulin' sounds, including noises that sound like someone running a wet finger around the rim of a wine glass, and a sine wave sound that sounds like the test they give you at infants school to prove you're not deaf (but in a good way).
We'll let Missed Her Bliss's awful band name slide by and instead concentrate on their awful music. Things start well with the band belying their tuff guy hardcore appearance by playing a emocore style instrumental. Sadly, the set goes downhill from there, with the band playing exactly the kind of music you expect from looking at them; hard and loud. Their drummer is stunning, and - wow! - they have tempo changes and sudden dynamic changes, but let's face it, who doesn't nowadays? Any observer who's watched any post-hardcore bands could probably sing this band's songs before they've heard them. This band can play, but that's no excuse for their lack of individual ideas. And No Autumn Knew They Wished Near October's Water would perhaps be a good alternative band name.
Anyway, so you know that weird kid at school? The one who was all gawky and had googly legs and always looked a bit freaked out? The one who grew up with a really well developed personality and became really successful? That's Herrod. Now on form, sounding more together than they ever have - they still sound angular but now it sounds intended rather than accidental and nervous. They're playing like a band now rather than four friends who accidentally found themselves on a stage holding peculiar wooden objects.
And if you really must have the boring-describing-their-sound bit, they're wonky, angular, discordant, with the shouting drummer of a Dugong and bits of Sonic Youth, bits of Idlewild, bits of Radiohead (before they went arty) and bits of Fugazi: although it has to be said that Herrod don't sound at all like any of the bands I've mentioned but, defying description, they were the closest things I could think of. Herrod manage to be a bit of all these crazy mixed-up things and still be a band I love. How do they do that? Hats off to Herrod, everyone - if they're not your favourite band soon, you need new ears.