Will Preston

Tag: Freakpit

EVOLUTION: A New Rock Culture Pt II

by on Aug.14, 2011, under Gigs, Music, Review

One day, the country will climb out of the recession. As the battered hand slaps down onto the ledge of the financial abyss it had just ascended, we’ll be allowed to have fun again without feeling guilty. Out of all the hedonistic luxuries that I’ll be entitled to, new gig nights in Pompey is one I’ll be looking forward to the most. We could get there sooner if we all pitch in and see more local bands, but that statement is a worn out platitude. So in brave times a new night is emerging at the Wedgewood Rooms and it deserved a few more punters, seeing as it was mostly top shelf acts and all for the price of a pint. Are times really that hard? Anyway, onto the bands.

Bare Your Scars

When a hard and heavy band are performing to a bare audience and still giving it 105%, it fills me with a sense of awkward respect. Despite poor numbers at the start of the night, Bare Your Scars were still playing like there were ten times as many people in the room. Late comers missed out on a slap up metal grill with enough angry vocals to fill up a death metal hospital. I’ve never seen a band so energetic whilst staring at a floor so empty. Some of the material started to blur into one long song, but with some fantastic rhythm and an aggressive stage presence, the guys managed to hold my attention for a good length of time. And considering that this really isn’t my sort of thing, the deserve a hard pat on the back. Think a young Pantera with a focus on bouncier beats. They deserve more than the first band slot, especially after the way they ploughed through the set. It was like watching a porn star in action, even though the cameras were off.

Freakpit

Picture courtesy of www.m4tography.co.uk

Costumes on stage are usually fun, even if the lead singer decide to go for the old clown phobia theme. Freakpit are a band who have enough dirt and raw to use, but need to focus on pimping out the riffage more and more. At times there was a soft Korn vibe going on, then all of a sudden a Motorhead-esque driving force would explode at my ears. Just when I was getting into this dish, the band snatch it away again like a fussy chef. Everyone on stage looked the part, but there seemed to be a slight lack of confidence that prevented them from enjoying their own songs. Also, there were moments where the band felt slightly out of time or the drums decided to stop for a bar or two. However, the lead singer did get into his clown guise very well and pretty much did the job. I really think that these guys should go a bit more psychobilly in the future. Don’t ask me why; just trust me on this one.

Kodiak Jack

Ah Kodiak Jack. Yet again, they haven’t let me down. Scroll back to my other reviews of them if you want. I’m fine to wait….still here? Fine! I’ll fill you in. Basically, if you like your 90’s alternative rock launched at you from a catapult; then done the rock helmet and spread your ears. Tight, well structured and not bad to look at either, these guys are a sure favourite for anyone with a pulse. I swear these guys have been going for a long while now as it bloody well shows. Nailing each song down perfectly whilst swaggering the living daylights out the stage. It’s top rock seepage! Think of Pearl Jam jamming with a stoned Stone Temple Pilots and you might be somewhere close. Please see these guys whilst you can still see them at criminally low prices. It’s only a matter of time, people!

Toxic Shock

Picture courtesy of www.m4tography.co.uk

Hooray! It’s dirty hair-ish metal. My favourite if I’m in the mood for some leather and denim strutting. Toxic Shock make the 80’s look slightly dignified, which can be an achievement in itself, I suppose. The songs have the right attitude, even if they sound a bit light in places. But if you’re up for a bit of no nonsense rock and roll with a whiff of cocaine, these guys do the line just fine. One niggle I had was with the lead singer being a bit too static. I mean the guy just looked the part and had the dress sense that I would commit war crimes to achieve, but most of the time, he was standing angrily and I felt there could have been a bit more movement. But that’s just me; if I smell out an old school rock band and the lead singer has not got a guitar strapped to him, I expect running, the splits and anything else that could cause a mild heart attack. Keep an eye on these guys, though. And I really do mean that.

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Wedgewood Rooms Showcase 2010 – Heat Three

by on Jul.20, 2010, under Gigs, Music, Review

Photography provided by Martin Hoare

With a rather big diamond in the chuff found last time, this heat was harder to find such guess a winner. There was no band there that was miles above the rest. Just a pool of just about average acts. I didn’t find my foot tapping or my head nodding, so I can’t really see any of the acts featured here making it to the final. However it was still interesting.

 

First up were Real Estate. Can’t say that I warmed to them too well, although their entrance did turn a few heads with its pre-recording cockney yelling. They had the image of a band that kicked arse, but seemed to lack the extra leg that is required to do so. By no means were they crap. Just out of time and generic. Maybe this sort of brand of hardcore metal just isn’t up my street. Either that or they weren’t making the genre jump out for me. That, and the screaming singing got tired halfway through the set and resumed normal speaking tone; the most un-metal of all tones. Could be something if the band had a strong direction instead of just wanting to be in a band.

Preacher are a band that I’ve already reviewed, so by all means skip to the next band. To sum up the bands general sound would be me saying “Imagine the film track to the 1986 Transformers film. Yes. All the songs sounded the same and had an outdated faux hard rock riff heavy mess to it. There isn’t much else to say apart from this band could have turned some heads, ever so slightly, about over 20 years ago at a push.

Now I didn’t expect the next band to win at all. Then again, I didn’t expect any band to win. I expected the outcome to be decided through tic tac toe or Battleships. Whatever was available. The band was let dow2n from the star with equipment issues from the guitarists. I feel really bad singling members out like this, but the guitars really sounded that bad. Bad in a way that’s played through an inferior amp and is behind the singer and drummer; who sounded like the real talent in the band. It was hard to fault just them, but the rest let the band down. Oh, except when the lead singer used the “Ready to Rumble” blurb that gave a creepy P J & Duncan vibe to the set. Looking back on it, I can see why they did win.

Not winning this heat was Freakpit; possibly the novelty act? Now I do think that costumes can be a good idea if you need something to distract the listener into becoming a looker, but it didn’t. It really didn’t, possibly due to the inconsistent costumes or because I would have need a bigger distraction from the music. Again, not because it was bad, but because I’ve heard it all before. Poor man’s Rob Zombie comes to mind. The songs they played borrowed too many clichés from most metal songs in the last 30 years and also included an unwelcome Ting Tings cover. And they ended their set with balloons. Yes. Balloons. It is at this point I bring to your attention that the lead singer was dressed as a clown. Go figure.

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