Menace Beach, Pet Crow and Babe Punch
21 June 2016
It was hot last night. Not just the slightly uncomfortable heat of a gathered crowd at a gig, but the swampy longing-for-a-storm heat of summer. This heat is not excessive but it’s unusual; it makes you lethargic and irritable, impatient and feisty. But whatever the heat was rising in us was pushed firmly aside by the three bands tonight; each demanding and deserving of our full attention.
Openers Babe Punch are making strides with every gig they play. They’re getting used to big stages but despite a growing confidence and their sound being tight, there is still some work to be done on coherence for this band. That said they are blasting out big grunge rock tracks – set staples Fixation and Snake Tongue racing punk that knocks against the more spun out newer numbers we get tonight. A band who have a hunger for their music and are on an impressive trajectory – well worth catching as they get closer to their full potential with every gig.
Main support Pet Crow are a band who are pretty much there though. For a band who played their first gig only a few months ago tonight they owned the space, confident and comfortable with each other, a palpable trust and an infectious sense of fun. Musically the new wave garage rock cool of EP Pet Soundz translates well to being played live and there’s some astonishing and delightful little flourishes added tonight. If you haven’t already grab the band’s EP from Bandcamp and make sure you see them live as soon as you can.
The crowd were wilting by the time headliners Menace Beach took to the stage, tonight a warm up for their Millennium Square gig in Leeds with The Cribs this weekend. A supergroup with a Derby connection (founding member Ryan Needham was singer in Komakino) tonight they ricochet between heavy garage punk and throbbing stoner rock. While the noise this band makes is big it’s not without intricacy. The detail etched into the slab of distortion, the occasional delicate foil to the pounding, the kaleidoscope of keys swirling around the riffs. Great sleazy garage rock this is, but the touches of psych and heavy shoegaze make this not just great but glorious.
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