Damn Cargo, Mountain Schmountain, True Ruin at Dubrek Studios – Live Review

Following on from the current series of brilliant DIY line-ups there was a triple threat last week at Dubrek Studios with Damn Cargo, Mountain Shmountain and True Ruin. It was an evening with summer heat and cool breezes lending itself to the progressive increase of energy from start to finish of each band as the night draws in.

Slightly incongruous to the general indiepop/rock billing that was advertised, the solo project of True Ruin made its debut performance, armed with a straight forward Behringer mixer, a Roland Sp404a, a Korg Kaoss pad and a smattering of other gems on the borderline of being modern classic gear. With a semi-nonchalant salute, he calmly ploughs forward with late ’90s broken beats that would be perfectly in place on any second CD of a ‘Saturday Night, Sunday Morning’ mix.

Drum samples and glass smashes that sound like Trent Reznor had sampled The Velvet Underground under the due diligence of DJ Shadow. Diminutive and restrained, he nods along like a chill T-Rex that had been raised cuckoo-style by a herd of Apatosauruses.

Bookend salute to finish, it’s an excellent offering for a first outing which gets immediate praise from the audience (as well as very directed thanks and name checking from both bands during their sets) that will hopefully mean the development of some online downloads or mixes. This isn’t something that should be kept hidden away on a hard drive labelled ‘Final mix demo – final final 3.wav’

Mountain Schmountain from Nottingham, no strangers to Derby having recorded at Snug Recording Co. in the past. A member down, they’ve adapted their set successfully for these occasions and play at a much slower tempo which sees their self-confessed ‘extreme MOR’ genre give itself a much more laid back North American indie rock edge a kin to American Football and The Weakerthans, with vocal harmonies that weave across each other, giving Scribble Victory a run for their money.

Lyrically emotive situational snapshots, songs such as Photocopy/Filter Coffee and set closer Alpenglow pull at you and draw you in, the slower pace allowing every word to be absorbed.

Headliners Damn Cargo push on with a ramped up energy, the singer clearly ready to go and bouncing on the spot while the guitarist rounds up the outside drinkers before they launch into openers Upside Down and I Love This Game. Performing as if there’s an audience of five hundred, vocalist Lucie De Lacy launches into every conceivable spare space between two guitarist and a bassist, clear of a wall of drums without tiring or losing her footing once. Avoiding Rob Cave’s flailing guitar work in the first instance is a miracle of its own making.

The set continues uncompromising from start to finish, ending with Daltrey Roll, its unmistakable diminished 5th power chords churning in line with the snare drum, like an At The Drive-In song which had been blessed by the gods of coherence and unity. Well-constructed stuff which cements our desire for more than the three tracks currently available online.

You can find True Ruin;

You can find Mountain Schmountain;

You can find Damn Cargo;

Photos by Richard McKerron.

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