Will Preston

Tag: Kodiak Jack

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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“With great power chords comes great responsibilty”

by on Jul.02, 2010, under Gigs, Music, Review

Justic Force 5

I held that pose through their entire set, it was that good!

Well it’s been a while since I saw a live band and I’ve been going stir crazy after living without the missus for 2 months so I thought I would make best my presence at the Edge of the Wedge. I was told that a band right up my street (well, round the corner from my street, geographically) would be there to rock my much rocked cock off. This is the first review that I do where I wonder into a completely different gig halfway through the night.

Have fun having your mind blown.

Kodiak Jack

Third time seeing these guys and they always tickle my ears. Sounding like Pearl Jam, Velvet Revolver and Soundgarden put into the same heroin hypo. It’s crunchy man rock and I love! I’ve loved them ever since I face palmed myself for screwing up my schedule thus missing the chance for them to guest on my radio show.

Really it’s the inclusion of the backing vocals that do it for me. And bloody good backing vocals they are. When grunge comes back into fashion again, these guys will ride that wave high, quite frankly. Plaid wearing rock at it’s finest.

The Ruderalis

I did not get this band. Don’t make me try as it will just make me dislike them. No that I did dislike them, but there wasn’t a lot to be liked. They sounded tight, played well, but the songs were too hip, too twee and after two songs I left.

To sum it up; Hip indie boys trying to make you happy by excessive upbeat music.

I don’t like being forced to cheer up!

At this point I snuck into the Wedge to catch a local favourite of mine: Contra.

Contra

Can I call it post rock? I may try and get away with giving them that label. It’s that kind of alternative rock you hear that just blows shit away. Very heavy, very shouty and very good! The set started off with a few problems with Russ’s guitar, but the band decided to (according to Adam) make up something on the spot.

Most entertaining, my dear fellow.

The only problem was you could see the floor in the venue; there was hardly anyone there. At this point a single tearsrop splashed on the floor. Support your local music scene, people!

Back to the Edge after a quick smoke on my pipe!

Dendera

I like Dendera. They area a fun band if you like cheesy Eighties metal if you can excuse the instrumentation being a bit rough around the edges. What I saw wasn’t Dendera. Their singer, Dave Hartley, was nowhere to be seen. He was easily the most memorable member. A true showman who looked like he was having the time of his life upstage.

Mr Hartley; where ever you are, please make yourself known!

In his place we had an amateur kareokeist. It was clear that she had next to no practice with the band , not because of the shy stage presence, not because of the out of time and dull vocals, but because she had a friend holding up the lyrics in front of her (photo evidence will be included with this review).

Heavy metal lyrics aren’t the hardest to remember.

Swords. Denim. Leather. Steel.

That’s all you need to know.

The band then ejected this singer halfway to riff off some generic instrumentals, before covering DIO and Iron Maiden.

Rest In Peace Dendera.

Justice Force 5

By far the most amazing entrance that a band has made in this venue. Soaring with the Batman theme tune (1989 film, not ‘na na na na na’) as they made their way to the stage (yes, all 2 meters!) the crowd’s jaws were tickling the floor. I’m still excited from it as I type this.

The idea for the band is sheer genius. They are a team of super heroes who save the world with awesome hard rock. They could survive as a decent band if they focused on either the fantastic superhero stage presence, or the catchy hard rock. But they do both great at the same time.

It’s also the first time I’ve seen pyrotechnics being used at the Edge.

For some reason, the music and the costumes instantly brought to mind the 1998 Matt Stone and Trey Parker comedy film ‘Orgazmo’. Songs titles that stick out include ‘You’re a Bitch, but you got balls’ (‘so put your balls on my balls’ – I had to go to wee from laughing so hard), ‘Fuck me like you Owe Me Money’ and ‘The Organ Grinder’.

During the latter song, we were introduced to the band’s nemesis; The Organgrinder who provided a bloody pantomime in the form of a music battle against the band. Narrative is usually left out of gigs, but it was more welcome here than ever.

If this band had the same budget and space as Alice Cooper has to do a live show, all live acts from then on will be ruined for you.

If grunge comes back into fashion, could we please have a trend for superhero based bands?

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