dea Lesson No.1: October 2011

Wednesday, October 19


To be honest with you, I just came in from a really disappointing gig – Tropics, as in the dude who just had an album out on Planet Mu; the album is totally worth hearing but I’m not feeling his indie-jazz-funk thing as a live trio at all – so I’m gonna try and get buoyed by writing about the Swn show we have coming up this Friday (Oct 21). And then go to bed.

SKULL DEFEKTSare a band from Gothenburg in Sweden who started out in the mid-00s as a CDR-releasing, pedal-mangling, endurance-testing totem of noise-rock. Over time, they have become... well, not exactly accessible, but more alive to recognisable ‘rock’ idioms, with occasional non-epic song lengths. This has most recently culminated in two records on the Thrill Jockey label, ‘Peer Amid’ and ‘2013-3012’, which have former Lungfish singer Daniel Higgs on vocals. They have proved a mystically excellent match, which makes it a great shame to tell you that Higgs won’t be here with them at Buffalo. (More so since the Daniel Higgs Trio show we did in April – don’t look for it on this blog, I never got round to writing about it – was half-ruined by non-payers talking over it.) Anyway, they will crunch and drone (they have a CD called ‘The Drone Drug’, which I think might be a personal ‘classic album title’) and freak and riff to the point of euphoria. They have a dude who used to be in Kid Commando in the band! Lesson No.1 put them on in 2005, they were great but the show was crappy. I bet he doesn’t even remember. Union Carbide Productions and Anti-Cimex (!!!) too. I think some of them might be pretty OLD. I can’t wait to greet them!

THE GOOD WIFE don’t have anyone from bands that ~seminal~, but they are fronted by a super guy called Emile, who used to sing and do karate kicks in Chariots. By their own admission, they don’t play anywhere near enough – the last time they were in this region, I think, was early 2008 supporting Cursed. Since then they’ve released a 7” on the Superfi label, and also have an album pretty much ready to go. Sludgy jazz noiserock uncompromisability is their game, pal. ‘An Evil Heat’ meets ‘My War’ meets ‘Liar’ is the hyperbole I’m sticking with, and if you’re immediately turned off by the fucking arrogance of writing those album titles like they’re household names, then buck up your Googling skills before it’s too late and you’ve missed the band.

Also do not miss BRANDYMAN, the cucumber down the crotch of rock’n’roll. This is their first show since March, on account of member kerfuffle – they currently have one of Shaped By Fate and one of The Death Of Her Money, as well as DC Gates (Gindrinker) and Ben Woods (Truckers Of Husk, FTSE100), but should still bring the same precise beatdown of gnarly riffology. They are going to be on at about 7.30, The Good Wife at maybe 8.30, Skull Defekts around 9.30. Early finish. If you don’t have a Swn wristband, I think it’s gonna be £7 on the door. Go somewhere else after, maybe one of the other Swn things.

Thursday, October 6


Just over a year ago Lesson No.1 helped some folks out with a Cardiff show for a band called CONAN, who come from Liverpool and play bone-meltingly powerful sludged-out doom metal. I don’t know if everywhere they play gets this treatment, but they helped increase their affability by posting on local messageboard Southwalesmassive in the style of some kind of comedy Norse warrior. Because they’re called Conan, I suppose. Anyhoo, it all helped get folks’ dander up for the show, which was in Buffalo and owned hard.

Since then, Conan have incrementally increased their standing in the doom community by a combo of rare-but-valuable shows, and good auld word of mouth. They’ve also added to the one release they had in 2010 – a lumbering four-song half-hour monster called ‘Horseback Battle Hammer’ which I reviewed here – in the form of a split album with oppressively bleak Irishmen Slomatics. It’s out on Head Of Crom (12”) and Burning World (CD) and I’m pretty sure you’ll be able to buy both at this show happening on Saturday.

Support this time round comes from ZONDERHOOF, a Cardiff band who have been (at) large in the city since the middle of last decade. If you’d gone to WH Smugs and bought last month’s issue of Terrorizer magazine, which usefully has been taken off the shelves literally today as I type, you would have got a FREE copy of ‘Hakken!’, their debut album. Instead, you can buy it in a proper case at the show or from Undergroove, the label boss of whom is a Terrorizer staff member. HE’S TRYING TO GIVE YOU SOMETHING GOOD FOR FREE, DUMBASSES. Oh yeah, what does their music sound like? Fine and bottom-heavy rumbling instrumental metal averaging about seven and a half minutes per song, with a Melvins jones but much for fans of Keelhaul, Capricorns, Neurosis, Loincloth und so weiter. They don’t play live enough, so come out and pay respect.

First on (probably a wee bit after 8pm) are PUS, who were also one of the supports last time out. They’ve got t’ings done since then, too – notably their debut EP, which came out on Universal Tongue/Feretro a couple of months back, and has been awarded glowing reviews by the doom community (them again). Some people seem to think that blazing up 24/7 is crucial to its appreciation, but I don’t think it’s necessary to shut out cowards like me in that way. “Relentlessly tranced out black dirge, doomy and psychedelic, mesmerizing and hypnotic,” is another line from a review, though, and I’m pretty well on board with that.

So yeah. This is once again only a fiver to get in, the drinks are cheaper here and it’s a Saturday. If you’ve already given yourself over to the Michael Forever concert in the Millennium Stadium, perhaps as a result of working in one of the companies that got free tickets for every employee as they literally can’t give them away, then... sux2BU.

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