Sunday, July 4, 2010


Monday, September 22, 2008
The Evelyn

Seemingly on a roll with presenting decent gigs, The Evelyn finds its walls ringing with the kind of noisy glee that befits the venue's original state in the early 90s.

Winning the nostalgia stakes this evening are Hand Hell whose set could easily have been beamed through some eddy in the space-time continuum from 1992. It's terrific stuff; bristling beats underpin crunching guitar lines, forced over each other as the seemingly ageless Kirsty Stegwazi lends the faintest hint of melody to her voice. Unlikely to be branded as cool by whoever it is that decides these things, and less likely to care, Hand Hell certainly set the bar high.

Dragging it back to appropriately subterranean levels are Zond, a band who aren't so much interested in songs as sound and repetition. Here, repetition isn't numbing or hypnotically enthralling, it's more punishing. Surprisingly the most impressive thing about them isn't guitarist Marney MacLeod's original Mouth t-shirt, but the sheer milage they gain from simple ingredients. Other bands offer melody, dynamics, charisma, diversity…Zond give you three bass notes, two chords, one beat and a Sunn-load of volume. Make of it what you will. They do.

Premiering new material that snugly fits besides near classics like The Process and Polar Angle Ninetynine are still demonstrating their excellence and we're still, mostly, not listening. Laura McFarlane might be getting more school ma'am-like with her demeanour with each show but it's a yin to (recent survivor of Hurricane Gustav) Cameron Potts yang. He may drown out her vocals by drumming like a rabid octopus while Iain McIntyre and Meg Butler hold the fort, but there is so much here other bands could learn from. Like how to write a song that ricochets with energy while still finding room for compelling melodies for starters. Tonight they show they're vital as ever.

Blasting any sense of pop clean out of the room, the menacing force of Spider Vomit celebrate one of the best sound mixes they've had by raising hell. Propelled on a beam of Gill Tucker's piercing guitar that sounds like the product of an unholy ritual between Angus Young and the Large Hadron Collider, the band's twin vocal attack has rarely been better. The guttural spew of Evil Bloody Long-Haired Woman and the fearsome Hades send some weak-willed witnesses out into the mild evening, but those that remain see some of the more grotesque twists of song this place has ever seen, which is saying something.

No comments:

Post a Comment