Photo by Simon Bamford
Yet another music-packed night at The Sugarmill this week; the kind of night where the quality of music lovers in the crowd defines the quality of the band, and in this instance tonight, they were both rather sound! It’s definitely that time of year again where all the good stuff gets put out there for us to lap up.
The first support act (admittedly I missed the name) were pleasant; they had that feel-good summer vibe thing going on, projecting from their poppy riffs, holding a much more mature sound than one would presume from looking at the young group.
‘Everything on Red’ roared onto stage as a huge explosion of sound featuring vocals similar to that of Futureheads front man Barry Hyde which then declined into fluff, as they came across as heavier Enter Shikari after holding high hopes. There was nothing drastically wrong with their performances, but nor was their particularly significant about them to make you fall in love with them and their material. They were just decent filler before the climax. ‘My Lifeline’ was more like it, a song featuring on their EP, abusing the synth for that pop rock sound that sells so well at the moment, with a bit of chunky guitar smashing thrown in for good measure; all perfectly fine and dandy until the closing screamo impression; posing as a poor Alexisonfire tribute act. ‘Forever’ also seemed to hold promise until it was followed by plug, plug, plug, which led to yawn, yawn, yawn.
Dinosaur Pile-up lived up to expectation however, launching straight into the epic ‘Headspinner’; simple, formulaic but effectively infectious, contagious in pure amp sound. If you like the musical explorations of Ash, and really appreciate Kurt Cobain’s whiney angst in vocals then this is the band for you. Paying homage to Nirvana, ‘Mona Lisa’ is a fantastic kick start to getting the bodies moving and you can almost hear the echoes of ‘Sliver’ throughout. It’s an interesting experiment that you should really try; especially with the verses.
Loud, quirky and different, they hold energy like Nine Black Alps where the mere touch of their guitar is like electricity feeding into the crowd when the sound gets loud, and if you play their newly released album ‘Growing Pains’ it’d wake up the neighbours for sure, but we should celebrate; it’s groups like these who are making underground rock cool again!
The massive bass solo from Harry mid-set matched the awesomeness of the bass-off scene from Scott Pilgrim, getting right into your bones until you can’t shake off the feel and sound of them. The penultimate ‘slow’ song, which they don’t usually favour apparently, was truly show-stopping. The crowd was silenced by the lush tones of Matt Bigland in this romantic number, before reaching the beautiful instrumental crescendo, touching and different in the good kind of way. This was followed by ‘Traitor’, a smashing and triumphant ending where head banging, foot tapping and finger drumming never felt so good. Ending on a good note would be an understatement.
Heavy, yet smooth, loud, yet tender, they can deliver everything you want from a decent gig at The Mill on a Wednesday as a solid alternative rock act, serving up a pleasant trip down memory lane of the 1990’s heyday of grunge.