Thursday, September 14, 2006

Review: [Alps – Needletail]

Unfortunately I missed the Could Have Moved Mountains set at the Old Bar last week. I have a bet going that I already know exactly what the sound like, from their name alone. I’ll have to wait and see. Instead I was watching a Handel organ concerto, Haydn symphony and Stravisnsky’s Rite of Spring performed by the MSO. The Stravinsky piece was amazing. The sheer energy and flux of the rhythm, the fierce dynamics and violent sonority. Certainly a confrontational modernist piece though written nearly 100 years ago. An interesting anecdote tells of the scandal that occurred half a minute into it’s premier when the Parisian audience rioted in protest and.... What’s that, sir? I’m supposed to write about rock music... I humbly apologise.

So Needletail took to the stage and immediately started rocking it out. This band is rather good. Their songs typically either employed some pretty melodic counterpoint between bass and guitar and then at the climax, a descent into a dirty maelstrom of distorted guitars, distorted screams and cymbals or else the whole thing was distorted noise. They reminded me a lot in their heavier mode of At the Drive In, which is no small compliment. Their set did lose a bit of intensity towards the end which was not made up for with their increased reliance on distortion. Nonetheless, a highly enjoyable band.

Headlining was a guest to our state, Alps of the New South Wales. This act involved a man, his Casio keyboard, drum machine, xylophone and bass drum. Basically some beats would roll, then a bit of keyboard action would come in with some plaintive whisperings into the microphone. It turned out to be pretty amateurish but it makes me glad that someone can do that even if (especially maybe) it isn’t great. Anyway Stravinsky was good.


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