like the relentless fury of the pounding waves
i'd heard of a place to bury strangers, but wasn't rushing to check them out purely on the basis of their charmingly morbid name, having been somewhat disappointed by ...and you will know us by the trail of dead at last year's siren festival. i assumed this was yet another indie rock band trying to stand out from the crowd with an unusual name. then i went to their website and found out how wrong i was. the sound that assaulted me was like a dream mixture of the jesus and mary chain, joy division, the sisters of mercy, and early cure. so when bianca emailed asking what was going on friday july 1, i told her this band were playing the knitting factory.
from the moment they took the stage something was different. the lights were kept extremely dark and only red. i can't even recall them counting off or starting to play; one minute there was silence, the next they were sudddenly there, attacking us with a wall of sound that pushed bianca straight to the floor to contemplate the rest of the set from the corner of the room. the distortion was a bit much, making it difficult to tell what the guitarist was actually playing. it simply became a whirlwind of electric razors with harmonics. at times the sound changed abruptly, no doubt with the aid of his own line of effects pedals he builds under the name death by audio. fortunately, the bassist brought an amp cabinet the size of godzilla and just as ferocious. even the drums sounded tweaked, although not as much as on their songs online. in all of this swirling mass of sonic destruction the vocals got pretty much lost, since they were low in pitch and bathed in reverb. in the end, all you could do was submit to the sheer unadulterated dark power of the noise, since the volume and lack of clarity made it difficult to latch onto anything like lyrics or melody, other than the tuneful basslines. i hope this band starts hiring their own soundman and getting better soundchecks. i have the feeling if we could actually hear what they were singing and make out a few more details they would be truly amazing. until then, i'm happy to go see them just to get bludgeoned by their instrumentation.
after the show, since we still, incredibly, had our eardrums intact (napkins in the ears, always a good idea), we decided to drop by the bunker at subtonic. this has had mixed results on other nights of the week, but the bunker is usually dead on and tonight was no exception. djs spinoza, movement, klevervice, and guest dj derek plaslaiko of ghostly international were spinning. i'm not sure who was on just after 2am, but the music was incredible, as were the visuals (see above). the sounds were hard, electronic, and danceable, familiar yet nothing i'd ever heard before. if the records were artists on ghostly, i can see i'm going to have to pick up some of their releases.
the title of this post comes from an obscure film.